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[personal profile] wook77
For [livejournal.com profile] womenlovefest and I asked to talk about Isabela from Dragon Age/Dragon Age 2.

Isabela has no pants. Isabela needs no pants, Day 1. (Realistic Relationships)

For those not in the know, Isabela is not only the most kickass chick in Dragon Age/Dragon Age 2, she's also one of the very rare characters of color. She's uninhibited, speaks her mind, unapologetic, feminine, upfront, violent and amazing.

For the first day, I thought I'd link to the vid of her sex scene in Dragon Age 2. Not because it's the sex scene but because it shows a lot of her personality.

(and, in case the embedding doesn't work - here it is.

She's also the hardest person to friend and to romance in the game, IMHO. She's such a strong character that you really have to work for it, whether you're playing as a male or a female. Words don't work and neither do gifts. You have to show her through actions. I found that to be extremely realistic, the most realistic romance in the game (again, IMHO and YMMV).

What I see a lot of around her is slut-shaming. Isabela is quite easy to get to bed but to actually romance her, you need to show your willingness to cease all flirtations with others otherwise, she'll think it was a bit of fun and the romance is over. With her being so easy to bed, the slut-shaming is just amazing and super prevalent.

She's not shy about her sexuality. She flirts shamelessly, talks about sex a lot, makes bawdy jokes and, in general, acts like a pirate... probably because she is.

I think that people find that intimidating. A woman shouldn't be so open about sexual innuendos, right? Especially a woman that's a romantic option. The courtesans or the whores, they can be as bawdy as they want but you wouldn't take them home to mother. And, considering that you spend most of the game living with your mother, you literally take Isabela home to meet mummy.

She's such a strong personality that, IMHO, the fanboys found that frustrating and intimidating. She teases and mouths back. If you don't treat her right, she leaves and doesn't bother to come back. She steers her own destiny and makes it blatantly obvious that that's what she does. To romance her, you have to be willing to live with that, not just accepting/tolerating but encouraging and supporting. In a way, to complete the romance, you have to be the less aggressive member of the relationship.

In the end, I can't honestly say that she was my favorite romance in all my playthroughs but that's more my inability to pick a favorite anything than any "weakness" on her part or "strength" on the male romance options' part. She made me work for the lesbian romance and I loved her for it.

The rest of the days will be much less wordy and much more squee-filled.
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January 2012


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