Riverdale: Jughead And The Lack Of Asexuality

7 months ago

If you know the history of Jughead Jones, you know that the character is asexual. This has been depicted in the most recent addition of the Jughead comics by Chip Zdarsky. In the past, Jug has liked females (in the older comics); however, Zdarsky wanted to go a different route with Jug. (And, good thing he did!)

So, what does asexual even mean? Asexual means "the lack of sexual attraction to anyone, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity." What makes this so incredible is a popular character such as one from the legendary Archie Comics comes out as asexual. Everyone has seen, skimmed, or read an Archie Comic. They have been around for decades and decades to come.

When Jug's asexuality transpired in the comics it made the entire community praise Zdarsky for choosing to cause awareness to it. It is something that gets little to no praise throughout the arts of comics, books, television, etc. It was well overdue.

Most LGBTQIA+ community topics have gotten screen time on a television show. Lesbians are being shown even more on television, bisexuality is getting there (slowly, but surely), gay representation with men in "How To Get Away With Murder" are there. We are getting the representation we need for everyone. If not yet, it is getting there. We are slowly showing little by little the realism of the LGBTQIA+ community.

However, on the new show "Riverdale," the creator made an interesting move by not making Jughead asexual. Which is fine. We are not the ones making the big bucks here, but it is an interesting move. The creator had all the rights to make a huge difference in the community of asexuals and chose not to. It's a move that is interesting to take knowing fans would be inclined to know why it was done.

Last night on the episode titled, "Chapter Six: Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill! " Jughead kissed Betty. Now, on any television show you know that's normal. A character needs a love interest, always. What is a show without that? Which is why the creator probably chose that route.

But, why?

Jughead could have easily been an asexual character with no love interest. We have Archie making out with everyone on the show - we had enough of the relationship drama going on. This could have been a game changer.

Now, asexuality does not mean that he cannot still be in a relationship (have a romantic partner) - but, in the comics, that is not how Jughead is. Jug's asexuality did not involve romantic partners. He only sees other genders as platonic relationships. He is in love with friendship and that is all (as it is described throughout the "Jughead' series.)

Jughead kissing Betty was not... weird, it was more so normal. We see this on every television show. Straight relationships, doing straight things and kicking ass together. We do not really see the LGBTQIA+ asexual community being represented. How do they go about life? What do they do when someone likes them and they have to explain their asexuality? What "Riverdale" could have done was make that possible on screen.

Comics are good, we get representation there, though. We have a ton of comic characters that are openly queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, amongst every other sexual orientation or preference. We are getting there and it's been a battle there too, but we are getting there. We recently have America Chavez who is openly queer and lesbian. The comic side is killing it representation-wise.

Why could we not get that in the show?

I know a lot of fans are wondering as much as I am. No hate, no bashing any ship or fandom. We kind of just want to know why. I actually enjoy Betty and Jughead dating (#bughead), but I wish it was with asexuality. Since we get POC, (borderline) teacher and student relationship conversations happening, family dynamics, murder, etc., it would have only been right to make this happen in this show.

Jughead is a marvelous character in the show - and I think Cole Sprouse does a wonderful job. But, even he wanted to see Jughead be asexual. Even Cole realized the misrepresentation asexuals have in media. I mean, the show could still make him be asexual, but it won't seem... right. It'll seem misplaced and weird because of this kiss on the most recent episode. The show could possibly make Jughead realize that he's asexual after the kiss, but it seemed like the character liked it. Again, it would be misplaced in the show to add it in now. It's possible, we can't lose faith. It'll be hard to execute, though.

I am looking forward to what "Riverdale" has to offer for Jughead and his character development. However, I am missing the asexuality from the comics. I know a ton of Tumblr, Twitter, and social media users are as well. This show could have been a game changer for representation in this light and chose not to. Maybe for a good reason, who knows. Not everything has a definite answer in the media world. Secretly, I will always ship Jughead and asexuality to the day I die on "Riverdale." Representation matters and we all deserve it.

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