Jake English fucking loves booty shorts, guys. Also: Dirk Strider.
I really could not believe it when I heard some people say Jake wears booty shorts because Dirk is a Predatory Gay and made him do so, but here we are. In any case, it took me forever to realize this, so it’s worth pointing out.
Jake uses his clothes to express his inclinations more than maybe any other one of the kids. Jake himself foreshadows his future inclination towards gear that shows off his ass…ets:
Frankly, I don’t think much else needs to be said there? There’s a canonical reason Jake dresses the way he dresses, and that reason is that Jake likes tomb raiders and sexy-looking action heroines, and he wants to be a sexy action hero and look sexy doing it. That’s really all there is to it.
…Or it would be, except that unlike Jake’s relationship with fighting, Jake actually experiences struggles and complications relating to looking sexy, and becomes insecure and vulnerable due to the way people treat him as a sex object.
It’s no surprise this happens. Jake has a list of sexual/romantic voyeurs and aggressors, and his discomfort and trauma in this area is an integral part of his character.
Early on, Obviously, there’s the AR, who’s lasciviousness is so well-documented I don’t think it’s worth repeating here.
Brobot is often accused of being a sexual aggressor as well. This belief is based on two quotes from the story:
This one, from AR. The thing is, AR is known for being pretty hyperbolic and overly sexual about pretty much all situations–kind of like a 13 year kid would be, you know?
What Jake himself says about the Brobot’s actions is much more indicative of the nature of the Brobot’s actions. Specifically:
Jake describes the Brobot as tender. And Tender is a specific word with specific, almost memetic meaning in Homestuck:
A meaning that only a juvenile teenager LIKE the Auto-Responder would consider sexual. Or at least, someone similarly trapped in immaturity.
Yeah. I know fanon is really pervasive about this idea that the Brobot was on the list of sexual aggressors, but the only real implication the canon itself makes is that it was doing tame proposals and handholds like this. That’s what Jake is referring to. It becomes problematic for him, but only because of the AR’s taunting and the fact that he and Dirk can’t figure out how to talk about it.
Brain Ghost Dirk makes some comments to this effect, however–likely reflecting the way the AR has messed with Jake’s head and successfully made him conflate the way the AR sees him and the way Dirk sees him. Even after the AR stops being an active presence in Jake’s life, it still makes its impact known through BGD’s characterization.
We also have no reason to believe Dirk even knows Brain Ghost Dirk exists, let alone has any active say in what he says or how he acts, either. BGD is, after all, predominantly Jake’s brain–and thus a reflection of, at best, how he THINKS Dirk sees him.
Note how even though Jake fully expects Brain Ghost Dirk to make lascivious and leery comments to him, he never expects Brain Ghost Dirk to try to touch him in a way he doesn’t want to be touched. On top of that, In fact, Jake makes a point of noting that Dirk is more conscientious towards him than either the AR or Brain Ghost Dirk:
And then, of course Jane literally threatens Jake with sexual slavery (while corrupted by an evil supercomputer):
So yeah, Jake is pretty uncomfortable with being seen as sexy by the time Aranea gets to him. It wouldn’t be unreasonable if the idea of being seen as sexy–or even just wearing short shorts–was ruined for him completely.
It wouldn’t even be unreasonable if his image of Dirk was tarnished, even though Dirk wasn’t really responsible for what was happening any more than he was.
But different people respond to trauma differently. And once Aranea objectifies him completely and renders him a tool–literally lightning him up and making it so ALL EYES are on him right when Jake feels most exposed and vulnerable, Jake responds in a pretty peculiar way.
With his Hope powers unlocked, Jake could theoretically do anything. Send hordes of angels to attack, make himself invisible, bring Grandma back from the dead…given what Jake actually ends up doing, it doesn’t make much sense to imagine arbitrary limits on his power. Because what Jake does when he needs to feel safe is make his imaginary friend real.
Again: Making something fake real is, by definition, pretty much the hardest thing to do–both in real life, and to convey compellingly narratively.
Even Jake teleporting his grandma from the past and reviving her to come protect him would be more reasonable a storytelling move than Jake being able to create matter and a personality out of thin air. You would only need Time and Space powers to theoretically pull of that absurd feat, so it would technically be possible to accomplish.
Making your imaginary friend real, though? That’s completely impossible for everyone, everywhere. Except for Jake English.
But Jake English can do anything, which means what we actually does reflects not only what he wants, but what he wants MORE than anything else possible to him.
And what he wants is Dirk Strider, coming to his rescue and keeping him safe from his latest aggressor. Kinda like Brobot always protected Jake from feeling unsafe when he was threatened:
Brain Ghost Dirk even calls himself Jake’s boyfriend, and this is after Dirk broke up with him and he worried about not being able to love anyone:
And right before Dirk breaks them off, while Jake is in trickster form and completely uninhibited, he confesses feelings to Dirk and makes a point to note he was willing to be romantically involved with him:
And luckily, as for his relationship with his shorts, Jake had a good pal give him some advice and boost his self-confidence:
And over the course of [S] Credits, Jake apparently patches things up enough with Dirk that they’re living together and can comfortably fight for fun like he always wanted. On top of that, he’s recovered his confidence in his image enough that he can act out the sexy superhero fantasy he loved so much:
Both his relationship with Dirk and his relationship with his body are sorted out, and Jake’s now happy and comfortable with himself. How it happened, exactly? Who knows–there’s as many different ways it could’ve gone down as you can imagine. But the fact is, it did. And it was laid out this way from the beginning.
What’s the exact nature of Dirk and Jake’s arrangement? Not really relevant. What we know is that they’re living together, that Jake was always willing to have a relationship with him and that never stopped being a thing, and that Jake trusts Dirk with his safety over literally anything else.
What we know is that they’re best friends and mutually romantically interested in each other, whether or not they decide to pursue that.
We also know Jake always liked dressing sexy so long as he was safe and didn’t have to worry about people dehumanizing him. And in this new world, he can do that as much as he wants, too:
Anyway Jake English is the best character in Homestuck and he’s happy with his boyfriend Dirk canonically, and he’s also happy and comfortable with his body while doing it because that was never the issue when he was with Dirk.
Tomorrow I should be following this up with one last Jake post–this one talking about how Jake is way way smarter than everyone thinks he is. You know. Except for Dirk, who explicitly knows Jake is smart.
we get it, you love kanaya, we know, you love kanaya so much, she's the best homestuck character, you love her so much, we KNOW, you love kanaya you fucking love kanaya okay we know, we get it, YOU LOVE KANAYA. WE GET IT.
Jake English likes to fight, and likes the Brobot.
TW: Physicality, Discussion of Physical combat
So, like. It’s long past time I wrote about my favorite character in this webcomic.
Jake English is the best and most interesting character in Homestuck, and it’s pretty tragic that barely anybody knows it. This is partly due to Jake’s narrative and personality being one of the most understated and subtle in the comic, but it’s also due to a Fandom Narrative building up around him that unfortunately paves over a lot of Jake’s most unique and interesting character traits.
Let’s try and rediscover this diamond in the rough as we wait for the game that will largely center around an alternate version of him, yeah? Here, I’m going to debunk some pretty common misconceptions about Jake, what he likes, and what he dislikes.
Brawls, Wrestling–Scrums and Whatnot. And the Brobot.
Let’s put it plainly: Jake English likes fights. A lot of the discourse surrounding Jake’s relationship with the Brobot seems to ignore this, or implies that the Brobot, like, Ruined Fighting for him somehow because it was outside of what he initially envisioned when Dirk sent it:
A point commonly further backed up with this quote Jake gives Jane:
There’s a few issues with this interpretation. Jake’s initial negative reaction is his very first encounter with the Brobot, and his quote with Jane is one he delivers as a passing remark. And by simply comparing Jake’s actions before and after the Brobot is sent, we can tell Jake really wouldn’t rather deal with the monsters.
Before the Brobot is sent, when Jake is 13, he explicitly avoids going outside:
Which is easy to link to being afraid of the monsters, since Jake complains about them himself…
And has no problem going outside three years later, after the Brobot is sent. To some extent, this can be put down to Jake’s increased experience and competence. But…
That clearly doesn’t account for the entire shift, since Jake does indeed need the Brobot to save him. I’ll come back to that later, but really, we don’t even need to do all this backwards story introspection to decide what Jake Really Feels. It would be easier to just listen to the guy himself.
So yes, Jake complains about the Brobot to Jane in one passing remark…while he’s still dancing around the tangled web of his relationships with Jane, Dirk, and Roxy. A period of time when Jake, by his own admission, is thinking very much about what other people think and not entirely being honest with the people around him.
What does Jake say when he is being honest, though? What does he tell John in his letter, which Jake wrote when he was 16, after 3 years of dealing with the Brobot?
What does he tell Caliborn–who’s opinion he doesn’t care about–after entering the session, after 6 months of dating Dirk?
And what does he tell Jane about the Brobot when he’s actually being honest with her–which he’ll CONTINUE to do for six months, complaining about all of Dirk’s myriad issues and shortcomings as a romantic partner…without ever once bringing up the specter of physical fear or discomfort?
Wait, hang on. Let’s zoom in on that one, that one’s important:
Woah. Is that Jake conceptually linking the Brobot…to the thing he was most consistently excited about for the entire comic? Interesting. Wild. What could it mean. It would almost imply that after spending three years with the thing, he doesn’t really hate the experience of having it in his life.
Again, Jake is no stranger to complaining about Dirk over the course of their session–he complains to Jane endlessly about him, as well as to Erisol and even Caliborn a little. (Though never Roxy, hmm…I wonder why…(I know why and I’ll get to it in another post.))
But he never really complains about fighting or about the Brobot in general, and his general attitude towards fights seems to be changed absolutely not at all whatsoever–right up to [S] Credits.
And he ultimate views Dirk as a figure of comfort and safety, so much so that he trusts Dirk with protecting him even more than he trusts Grandma or his own powers–after all, even after Brain Ghost Dirk tells him that he wouldn’t need him if he unlocked his hope potential, Jake still chooses to simply make Brain Ghost Dirk real rather than doing anything on his own when he wants to feel safe:
So yeah, I find the idea that Jake was bothered by the Brobot on any meaningful level pretty hard to square with the avalanche of counterevidence that is in the canon. The Brobot was an imperfect gift, but Jake still ultimately enjoyed it.
Jake English likes to fight. Plain and simple. This is weird to a lot of people, and that’s fine, but it’s not actually that uncommon.
There’s plenty of sports that center around fighting or come with the risk of physical harm, like boxing, martial arts, etc. I’m a longtime fencer, and I genuinely liked going without protective padding and getting bruised from the sword impacts. Physicality appeals to some people.
Jake’s love for fighting established, feel free to join me tomorrow and we’ll take on a smaller issue. A tighter one.
I’ve written an obnoxious amount about Dirk, but seeing how quickly I was able to put that Dirk post out, I decided I’d like to use the next couple days to put out similar smaller posts about the other Alphas–Jake, Roxy, and Jane, In that order.
I’ve got at least two more posts of Jake in me before we move on to Roxy, and I should be putting out at least one of these posts a day–the next one’s already pretty much written, so I may post it early in the day tomorrow.
Hopefully, by doing this I can help people understand just how tangled and complicated the tangles of mutual hurt and mutual love are in this group of friends, and why I love this severely underrated group of Homestuck characters.
If you enjoyed this post and think others like it would be interesting to you, well–stay tuned. If you have a counterargument or you disagree with this post, feel free to respond and I’ll do my best to get back to you. I enjoy testing my ideas so long as we’re all nice about it.
Since apparently todays homestuck day here is everything I know about Homestuck only reading the first act like a year ago:
Their inventories are computer science data structures what a bunch of nerds
No one is actually stuck in their home, the main boy leaves his home quite soon, actually.
After the main character starts playing the game, the apocalypse happens, which is honestly terrible game design.
They have a bunch of Zodiac dudes, which worries me because I fear the zodiac dude I am matched too
Dave Strider is the best character
It has the Half Life problem of structuring its story chapters
Someone talks with way too many numbers and is a nerd.
During that song everyone likes in Undertale a bunch of main characters die and I’m glad my memory is shit because if I ever return to it I’ll have no idea who they are.
Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff is canon in the universe of Homestuck and was made by Best Character Dave Strider.
It’s honestly a cool series that I’ve tried repeatedly to get into but cannot, however I seem to get closer every time.
Dads got no face.
The main character’s dad is a dick, therefore making Homestuck an anime.
With the information I know, I have no idea how it could create that much content. I dont know the main characters motives or even who the antagonist is. It’s a big mess with an infamous fandom and its got shit all over the place.
my ultimate it will never happen but if it could it would own wish for jade harley’s post-canon Direction is that by day she and Roxy work tirelessly on applications of absurdly advanced technology together to improve the lives of all residents of Earth C. Meanwhile Jade is just constantly up in everyone’s business, EVERYONE’S, all her friends and family who she loves very much become duly accustomed to just having her walk in unannounced at all odd hours to catch up or talk out her latest theories or just generally exult in the glory of human connection while the horror of 3 years in near-isolation recedes behind her, increasingly less forefront in her thoughts every day until some days she almost doesn’t think about how awful she felt and how lonely she was at all
Then one day she gets a message from Terezi, whose search for Vriska eventually somehow culminates in her finding a way into Ground Zero of the Green Sun incident, where she finds Vriska – along with Meenah, Tavros, Sollux, and Davepeta (the actual best character in Homestuck.) Jade uses the power of Science and Determination to help Terezi and various other involved people rescue these cosmic refugees
Eventually Jade and Davepeta are able to establish a romantic relationship based on current mutual attraction and a mingling of feelings referred from Davepeta’s recollections of being a Davesprite who adored and dated another version of Jade and Jade’s recollections of being a thirteen year old girl who was maybe kinda hoping resident Cool Kid Dave “Akwete Purrmusk” Strider might just go ahead and tell her he likes her already before he was murdered horribly and their paths diverged.
They go into this relationship aware of those referred feelings but with a sense of purpose and agency and awareness that what they are doing while informed by those things is something new and Jade Harley Now is not the Jade Harley who died a meme-tastic death as the Wicked Witch stand-in of the Game Over timeline and Davepeta Now is not Davesprite and ALSO is not Dave Strider.
Davepeta enchants her with both cosmic insights about the Self and they talk constantly about Meaning and Purpose, sometimes in heated debate and sometimes in commiserative fashion, and fall in love based on things about them that are Uniquely Them as they are now, and everyone is very supportive of them
And it’s a fun subversion of Jade’s implied character path if homestuck were any other popular piece of media from the very beginning (“ends up in a romantic relationship with Popular Male Character #1″)
This satisfies my shipping heart which naturally does want everyone to Find Love without aggravating any of the things I expressed discontent about in my previous post
Thanks 4 Reading and please remember Homestuck Is Good and fandom, while it can oftentimes be frustrating, is also good