An Open Letter to the Asshole with the ‘Free Hugs’ Sign at SDCC

Dear Asshole,
This is not an apology. I’m not sorry for yelling at you or swearing at you or for threatening to call security if you didn’t fuck off. In fact, I think you should feel damn lucky that you didn’t get a boot to your squishy sensitive bits, because I would have been damn well justified in planting one there.
If you ask someoneparticularly someone much smaller than you, and particularly someone female in a context where a lot of women already feel on-edge because of the way they’re treated, and particularly if she’s in a fairly isolated areafor a hug, and that person says no, it is NEVER appropriate to whine and wheedle and move closer. If they say ‘no’ a second time and ask you to leave, and you keep approaching them and keep insisting? YOU ARE PHYSICALLY THREATENING THEM.
It doesn’t matter if ‘all’ you want is a hug. It doesn’t matter if you’d hug me if our positions were reversed. What matters is that I said ‘no,’ and you kept pushing.
There is nothing wrong with wandering around ComiCon with a sign advertising free hugs; in fact, until you approached me, I thought the ideas was kind of cool, and I’m sure there are people who carry those signs and respect others’ physical boundaries (and if you, Dear Reader, are one such person, I suggest that you let this douche know in no uncertain terms that he is making you look very bad and you do not appreciate it). But what you did? That’s not free. And it’s not okay.
You can discuss this columnand the politics and etiquette of touch at conventionshere.