Hi there, it’s me again. Since my last update on this topic things have got a lot worst in my opinion. In this blog post I’m going to talk mostly about just the aromantic side of Jughead’s identity, the erasure of it, and the erasure from both the ace community and alloromantic people in general.
The reason why I’ve decided to focus mainly on just his aromanticism is because I’ve seen a lot of non aroaces say “even though Betty and Jughead are in a relationship doesn’t mean that Jughead can’t be ace” when in all honest that statement is true, it is not true in Jughead’s case. Because he’s not just asexual. He is aromantic, and touch adverse, and romance repulsed as well as being asexual. Being asexual isn’t the “most important part” of his sexuality, the aromanticism is too.
Alloromantic Aces do not have the right to speak over aromantic asexuals! We aroaces have the right here. Jughead is aroace and you should not speak over us. Saying that he can “still be ace” but not mentioning his aromanticism anywhere is arophobic. Putting a character who is aromantic, touch adverse, and romance repulse in a relationship where the character should and would feel uncomfortable is arophobic. And it’s a common trait seen in aromantic people who are unsure or hate their identity. How do I know? Because I was this person. Changing Jughead to a gay ace, pan ace, bi ace, ANYTHING but aro ace is arophobic. Jughead has always been aromantic and asexual. Chip Zdarsky many times has confirmed this as canon, saying that was how he was writing Jughead.
I talked about my experiences with romance a lot in previous “Why AroAce Jughead Is Important” and in my #ArospecAwarenessWeek posts, as well as on twitter. But for people who haven’t I’ve always known that romance wasn’t for me, I’d always questioned it but because of the way the world views romance I hated myself for feeling different, I thought I was unlovable, ugly, and many other things. And because of that I forced myself into a relationship with a guy I had already said no to, we were really close friends. I would say he was my soulmate (but not the romantic kind, but I didn’t know this). And around two years into said relationship I started questioning my identity. I realised I was asexual and pretty much accepted it straight away, I’d always been somewhat sex repulsed, but what took me longer was accepting that I was aromantic. Because how could I be aromantic when I was in this, what I thought was, loving relationship. I love him right? I guess I did love him but not in the romantic sense, I probably never did. But because I was confused with what love was I just assumed it was. And because of that I denied my aromanticism and stayed in that relationship for at least a year. And I faced both acephobia and arophobia because of it. It’s taken me a long time to get me where I am with my aromanticism and the erasure hurts me so much because this was the first step for young aros to not experience what I did.
So bearing what I said about my personal life how can Riverdale fix this even with Bughead being canon? I talked about it a lot in this twitter thread but I’ll go into more detail. I know that it won’t satisfy us aros because in the comics Jughead is very confident of himself from the beginning, but if we really have to change things (like Riverdale has done with everything) they can easily change this to a self discovery story. If you’ve read my twitter thread you can probably skip this because it’s mostly repetition. Use Bughead (Betty and Jughead’s ship name) to show how amanormative the world is. Have them or Jughead realise that they’re better off as friends, and have Jughead realise what he’s experiencing isn’t romantic attraction but actually what is called a squish (an aromantic term for friendship crush). Use this to show how the world focuses on the “importance” of romantic love and how Jughead doesn’t fit that, how he really doesn’t fit it. Let him discover his boundaries as a touch adverse, romance repulsed aroace. This won’t fix the damage Riverdale has already done but it would give us the correct, and canon representation we always had.
The only problem, or rather two problems, I have with this way of making Jughead aroace is that the way Cole Sprouse is acting as Jughead doesn’t give off a touch adverse and romance repulsed vibe. Jughead in the comics would never touch Betty’s cheeks like he did in the show (I don’t really know what’s going on in the show, I’m going on a picture that I saw on my Twitter timeline). I don’t know who kissed who, or if that’s happened yet, but if Jughead initiated it in the show he would never do it in the comics. And if he didn’t his reaction would probably be so different to what it probably was. So the majority of the damage is done, but it can be fixed. But will they? I’m no longer holding out hope if I’m honest. I will continue writing about it, I will be continuing to fight this erasure.
One last thing: Riverdale writers if you don’t know how to write an aroace character well just ask an aroace, it’s not hard. To be honest we are all willing to help Riverdale if they genually would like to go ahead with canon aroace Jughead. Research is the key here. But if you don’t want to and if you thing that a character cannot be written well without romance then you really need to do some research or something, because that’s a very harmful way to think.
If you would like to see all my #AroAceJugheadOrBust related twitter threads I’ve linked all of them here. All my “Why AroAce Jughead Is Important” are now filed under its own category called AroAceJugheadOrBust and any future #AroAceJugheadOrBust related posts will be filed under that category as well.