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Jughead and Aromantic Erasure

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I'm not sure whether this is the right place to put this thread but what are your opinions of this (rather long) post?

 

Despite not having read the comic myself, posts like this really rub me the wrong way. It just seems like another romantic ace completely missing the point and yet again erasing aromantics altogether. Not to mention they make het aces out like the victims???

 

What are your thoughts?

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I don't even know where to begin. It's just... no.

 

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i’m so tired of some members of the ace community fighting for portrayal of one specific narrative of asexuality in the media to the detriment of others

Haha the absolute irony of this statement. Nevermind the fact that the large majority of asexual visibility projects have a heavy focus on the fact that "aces are romantic as well". Nah, we'll just let that slide because aro aces are the ones erasing you, and not the other way around.

 

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what is it that people are really fighting for?

the “One True Asexual Narrative”, that’s what.

and once again, whether people are consciously aware of it or not, the fight for that specific narrative is being had at the cost of asexual representation that deviates from that narrative.

Sorry that people want characters that represent their experiences in media. Sorry that their existence erases yours. Oh wait. That's not how any of this works.

 

Sorry about that. Those quotes just make me mad. I haven't read the comic either so I don't know the character at all. I feel like the author of this article's intentions are good, but the way they go about it is just awful. They do make a point that often times when people hear the word asexual, they often conjure up an image of someone who isn't interested in romance or sex. Except, they completely ignore the existence of aromantic people and also the fact that the majority of asexual visibility is heavily focused on romance. Yes, there is very little representation of asexuality in media. But you know what has even less represenation? Aromanticism. I honestly don't think I can name a single aro character in popular media, while I can name a few asexual characters.

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Regardless of the content, I found this article very difficult to read because of the lack of capital letters and stream-of-consciousness writing. Because of that, my opinion of the writer is immediately lowered, as (from my perspective), they don't care enough to check for things like that in their writing.

 

Regarding the content, the author said that:

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tArchie character Jughead, who is canonically asexual, will be portrayed on CW’s “Riverdale”. that is, that Jughead “will have romances with women and, of course, burgers”.

 This doesn't preclude Jughead from being asexual, as many aces can be romantic. Also, I'm lost on their argument. Can someone enlighten me?

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Romantic asexuals actually think theirs is the one true asexual experience which is why I find this argument quite hypocritical. In fact romantic asexuals think we should only be allowed to use the word aromantic. 

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After doing a little bit of research myself, I came across the page, where it was first mentioned, that Jughead is asexual. On the page (the 3. picture to be precise) he's talking to another person, who's saying, that Jughead "can't understand his problem (finding a romantic partner), because he's asexual" and on his wikipedia page it says that he's "obsessed with eating food, and generally uninterested in any kind of romance". This makes it seem as though he's aromantic too, but of course I can't say whether that's true or not, seeing as I have not read that comic~

Judging from just that, I would agree with the people, who do not want him to romantically attracted to anyone, and disagree with the autor of that post. Quite often, when people do things to raise asexuall visibility, they bring up the point, that being asexual does not mean, that you can't feel romantic attraction, which is not very beneficial for aromantic people.

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On ‎19‎-‎01‎-‎2017 at 9:21 AM, aussiekirkland said:

I'm not sure whether this is the right place to put this thread but what are your opinions of this (rather long) post?

 

Despite not having read the comic myself, posts like this really rub me the wrong way. It just seems like another romantic ace completely missing the point and yet again erasing aromantics altogether. Not to mention they make het aces out like the victims???

 

What are your thoughts?

The person who wrote is is a jerk and totally missing the point

they simply complain about how he wont be giving a wide representation of asexuals when in fact so far there are like 0% openly asexual characters out in the mainstream television.

It doesnt matter what kind of asexual he would had been, he wouldnt be able to represent everyone, and to me it seams like the person is just mad that his not the same type of asexual that they are, but that does not make him as a character less valied (also it seams like the person has an issue with him being aromantic but sorry, not all asexuals are alloromantics as well that should be okay).

 

I find it quiet revolutionary if he was potrayed as asexual for alot of reason, but mainly because his asexuality wouldnt had been something we could guess on, or who in fact may had been for other reasons like desexualization of queer or disable characters, his simple asexual because he is, and we cant misunderstand it when its said out load. the crew who want to make him hetrosexual/hetroromantic anyway are just making up excuses for once more erasing lgbt+ characters and relationships.. -__- 

 

 

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I saw a continuation of this post on tumblr (thanks @aussiekirkland) where a couple people had replied, but unfortunately I do not have the link.

 

While it's true that not every asexual person is aromantic (we have that fact shoved down our throats practically every time we breathe), that seems to be what the creators of Jughead meant... not many people know about aromanticism or romantic orientations in general, and it's likely that when Jughead was written as asexual, he was being written as an aromantic asexual. Literally all of the evidence points to that.

 

And yeah, some aromantic people choose to have relationships, but somehow I doubt that's what the writers of the show are planning. Yeah, we can't be sure exactly how they're going to go about portraying him, but they probably don't have nearly enough knowledge of the nuances of asexual identifying people to be intending to portray him as an alloromantic asexual. They probably intend on making him straight, especially since Cole Sprouse seems like he had to fight so hard (and seems to have lost) to make him asexual. That's just the most likely result of all of this.

 

This just annoys me an awful lot! It's not like with characters who aren't canonically asexual, where we should expect and support a variety of different asexual people, but Jughead is canonically asexual. It's not "one true asexual narrative," it's Jughead's asexual narrative, and erasing the clearly aromantic part of that narrative is allonormative and gross and it just feels like the creators of the show are trying to shove in unwanted romance to garner views and to """"""""humanize"""""""" him to the ignorant public who refuse to acknowledge that we are people who deserve to have our stories told.

 

In other news, I really want to read the comics now.

 

EDIT: Here are some articles I found about this...

http://www.mtv.com/news/2973350/cole-sprouse-jughead-asexual-riverdale-producer/ <-- a little more hopeful?

 

http://www.dailydot.com/parsec/jughead-cw-riverdale-archie-asexual/

 

https://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/01/17/jughead-no-longer-asexual-cws-archie/ <-- this one outright suggests he'll be straight

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It seems clear to me that the people making this weren't planning on portraying Jughead as a different kind of asexual at all, they were just writing out his asexuality and aromanticism altogether. I can't imagine why though considering I think the character had nothing to lose from being written asexual and aromantic and a lot to gain. 

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I'm not sure if this discussion is still relevant here over a month later (it's still quite painfully relevant on tumblr, I can tell you that much), but I found this tumblr post the other day:

 

http://techno-trashcan.tumblr.com/post/157501281535/friendly-reminder

 

I'm not sure whether it made me incredibly happy or incredibly sad. However what I do know is that I kept going back and looking at it over and over, sent it to my friend so I could scream about it to her, and have decided I want to tattoo this post to the inside of my eyelids so I can see it every time I close my eyes.

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I think people are missing the point of what that commenter is actually complaining about. It's not that they don't want Jughead to be aroace, but that they don't want people to equate aromantic and asexual. It's the fact that people are acting like 'having romances' means he won't be asexual (when it really reflects more on whether he's aro or not) that is bothering that person, and I can see their point.

Also, while representating of explicitly aromantic people (ace or not) is extremely scarce, I've seen a lot of fictional asexuals with no stated romantic orientation, and they're pretty much always written as aroace in practice. Which sucks for alloromantic aces, and also for aro allosexuals (because it implies that only aces can be uninterested in romance). 

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I don't care what you call him. Throughout the Archie comics existence Jughead has been uninterested in dating. That's always been his character. You don't have to give him any label at all, but giving him a romance is just out of character. Having said that, I've been watching Riverdale and I think all the portrayals are out of character with the comic series. This show simply is only using the character names as ploy to get viewers. 

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On 2/27/2017 at 0:48 PM, Ettina said:

I think people are missing the point of what that commenter is actually complaining about. It's not that they don't want Jughead to be aroace, but that they don't want people to equate aromantic and asexual. It's the fact that people are acting like 'having romances' means he won't be asexual (when it really reflects more on whether he's aro or not) that is bothering that person, and I can see their point.

Also, while representating of explicitly aromantic people (ace or not) is extremely scarce, I've seen a lot of fictional asexuals with no stated romantic orientation, and they're pretty much always written as aroace in practice. Which sucks for alloromantic aces, and also for aro allosexuals (because it implies that only aces can be uninterested in romance). 

I don't necessarily disagree with that. However, I don't personally think there are enough canon explicitly stated asexual characters in fiction to make a fully accurate assessment of aces in media. But I do have to wonder how many of the ones that do exist are given an explicit romantic orientation and how many aren't. Most people don't even know that romantic orientation is a thing, which I think is the core of the issue that the OP was commenting on. I definitely do think that conflating asexuality and aromanticism is a problem, but I think it comes from people not understanding there's a difference between romantic and sexual orientations. I do agree, though, that people saying Jughead having romances means he won't be asexual are conflating the two--however, considering the writers probably meant to conflate the two, Jughead having romances with women probably means he's going to be straight.

 

Regardless, the OP's point was incredibly unclear, and they admitted to that, which is good. I suppose it's not really worth discussing their comments anymore.

 

Come to think of it, I'd be interested in researching ace representation in mainstream media and finding out just how they've been written in practice. If I find anything, I'll be sure to post about it!

 

On 3/1/2017 at 0:25 PM, Just like Jughead said:

Having said that, I've been watching Riverdale and I think all the portrayals are out of character with the comic series. This show simply is only using the character names as ploy to get viewers. 

I've heard this a lot. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews of Riverdale... some people say it's really good, some people say it's incredibly cliche and, as you pointed out, out of character. Since it's the CW we're talking about, I'm not sure I'm really all that surprised!

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Proves that TV still can’t bring characters to light without having a romantic subplot that comes with them.

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I heard someone say that Jughead in Riverdale could be read as an aroace trying to act straight because he doesn't know he's aroace (Riverdale is set before the comics). So if that's what they're planning, there might be a reveal at some point.

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On 3/22/2017 at 8:20 PM, Ettina said:

I heard someone say that Jughead in Riverdale could be read as an aroace trying to act straight because he doesn't know he's aroace (Riverdale is set before the comics). So if that's what they're planning, there might be a reveal at some point.

Let's hope so! :aropride:

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