Anonymous said: In dragon age, are there big differences if you romance a character as a male instead of a female? Like what's the advantages of romancing Anders as a male, Isabela as a female and so forth?
i wouldn’t call them big differences per se but it was enough to make me dislike romancing characters with a certain hawke. i’m not entirely sure about the merrill and fenris romances with either hawke, but i know isabela’s and anders’s romance are slightly different.
with isabela romancing her with a male hawke gives off this vibe as the “only man who could tame her” type deal, which is pretty creepy. isabela’s major theme as a character is freedom, and the fact that the romance gives off such a “tame her” vibe just really rubs me the wrong way. with a femhawke it’s more like hawke stands in the background and lets isabela be who she is without trying to infringe on her character. they seem more like equals in that way, and femhawke just altogether seems happier with the idea of running away with isabela and being pirate queens traveling the world together. i think you also miss quite a bit of what makes isabela who she is if you romance her with a male hawke. when you first meet her as a male hawke the first thing she does is blatantly flirt with him. if you play as femhawke, the first thing she does is warn her to watch out for the men in the bar. isabela is quite the feminist and throughout the game she expresses a lot of concern for women through idle banter, but with femhawke you get to see this right away and honestly it’s one of the best things about her character.
moving on to anders, if you play as femhawke and try to flirt with anders, he seems incredibly reluctant to return your flirtations. in one of the first conversations he has with you he basically tells femhawke that she should stay away etc etc and tries really hard to get her to back off. it just makes it that much more creepy to me if a femhawke keeps pursuing anders after he tries to shut down her advances (not that he’s not interested but when someone shuts you down the first time… well, no means no). with a male hawke he actually seems to welcome the advances and return the flirting. if anything he’s quite flattered a man would openly flirt with him. after you recruit anders after the tranquility quest is when you can really start the romance with him, and the big difference here is really what made me dislike the f!handers pairing (mostly on the behalf of bad writing). if you play as a male hawke anders tells you that karl was his lover and that he’s interested in men as well as women, and he’ll ask if that bothers you. if you play as femhawke you don’t really ever find out about this. i find it really disturbing that the femhawke playthrough doesn’t mention this at all. erasing anders’s explicit statement of his own sexuality within the narrative is really insulting to not only the character but to queer gamers as well. one of his lines about how “someone who’s like you shouldn’t define who you love”(i’m paraphrasing right here) is one of the most profound thing about his character and i find it disgusting the writers were trying to erase that. another thing that bothers me about his romance as a femhawke is he comes off as really protective in an almost possessive way, whereas with male hawke he is protective but doesn’t infringe on your hawke’s autonomy.
sorry this got so long winded anon. i hope you find this helpful and informative. if anyone has anything to add to this it would be appreciated because i might be missing some bits of information, but that’s the gist of it.