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What if Dawn had been a boy?

GoSpuffy

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What if Dawn had been a boy? Would that have changed anything? Do we think that Buffy would have still done what she did?

Discuss!
I think everything would have been different. I don't think Buffy would have felt the same about a brother as she did a sister. Any definitely a boy wouldn't have been as whiny as Dawn in season 5.
 

Athena

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Interesting question!

I think fundamentally yes, Buffy would have sacrificed herself for a younger brother in the end but a younger sister emits more of a 'damsel in distress' vibe. I also think there is a certain bond between sisters that is difficult to emulate with a sister and brother dynamic. Sisters at that age do tend to bicker about clothes, things etc. You just don't have that relationship with a brother (well, I didn't)

I also think that other relationships in the show wouldn't have worked, such as Spike/Tara/Willow taking care of Dawn. Spike wouldn't feel protective over a brother so much and while Tara & Willow would have been his carers during Buffy's time away, I don't think the same bond would have been there.
 

Taake

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I think everything would have been different. I don't think Buffy would have felt the same about a brother as she did a sister. Any definitely a boy wouldn't have been as whiny as Dawn in season 5.
How come? With the feelings I mean :)

As someone who would jump off a tower for my baby brother I don't feel all that much would be different in the sense of feelings from Buffy. However I think that Boy-Dawn might've been allowed some more agency and less whine.

I do think that the relationships on the show would've have worked. Spike might've seen his own young self in a boy and would have been equally protective and actually I think the bond would have been way stronger because of it.
 

Athena

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It's old fashioned and rather sexist, but we still think of boys as being capable and tough and able to take care of themselves, whereas same-aged girls need protecting and looking after. I don't think at any point did Joss ever think about making Dawn a boy, because the viewer would automatically treat him differently from the get-go.
 

GwenRaiden

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I don't think they'd have that bickering, close bond that sisters have. Maybe as a boy "Dawn" would have been closer to Xander instead. It would have been different for sure. Lots of changes in storyline. But with Dawn being a teenage girl, I think they are more outwardly emotional with outbursts and frustration, whereas teenage boys are a bit more quiet and secretive of their emotions.
 

white avenger

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I think everything would have been different. I don't think Buffy would have felt the same about a brother as she did a sister.
I also think that other relationships in the show wouldn't have worked, such as Spike/Tara/Willow taking care of Dawn. Spike wouldn't feel protective over a brother so much and while Tara & Willow would have been his carers during Buffy's time away, I don't think the same bond would have been there.
Spike might've seen his own young self in a boy and would have been equally protective and actually I think the bond would have been way stronger because of it.
As someone who grew up with an older sister, I can guarantee that Buffy would have been just as protective of him as she was of Dawn.



As for Spike, yes, he had a bond of friendship with Dawn, but he would almost certainly have felt the same if she had been a boy. Remember, Dawn was the only one besides Joyce who seemed to genuinely like and trust Spike, and he was certainly appreciative of that, especially since they were almost certainly the only friends that he had in Sunnydale by that time. He hunted and killed vampires and demons, and the Scoobies didn't trust him. Undoubtedly, Spike was a very lonely vampire.

Also, something that has to be taken into consideration is that, regardless of whether Spike liked the male version of Dawn, he would have stayed and protected him. That wasn't as much a question of affection as it was a matter of honor.

Don't ever forget, Spike made a promise to a lady.
 

Athena

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As someone who grew up with an older sister, I can guarantee that Buffy would have been just as protective of him as she was of Dawn.
See, I was the older sister and I never felt protective towards my younger brother. If anything, it was the opposite! He always looked out for me, even though I was older.

My younger sister on the other hand, I would do anything to protect.
 

GoSpuffy

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and Buffy had a close relationship with her mother, a poor relationship with her father, and being a slayer is being a part of a sisterhood. The only men in her life she had good relationships with were Giles and Xander, and for a short time Oz. She had a lot of boyfriend drama, with all of her partners. I think a sister would definitely give rise to more protective feelings than a brother.
 
Athena
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Good point!

Spanky

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I think a sister would definitely give rise to more protective feelings than a brother.
In theory yes, but the Monkees would have still wanted her to protect him, so maybe Buffy's desire to protect Boy!Dawn would have in part been added by the monks.
 

Riderofapocalypse

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Speaking as the eldest son and as a cousin of another man and woman who were basically my older brother and sister until we got old and moved on in life, I believe Dawn and Buffy's entire relationship would have been different.

I think:
- Buffy would have still sacrificed herself. Dawn's gender wouldn't have mattered.
- Dawn would have tried to take out vamp's and such by himself at least once.
- Dawn wanting to learn to defend herself in season 7 would have come about much sooner.
- Dawn wouldn't have been a whiny little you know what during seasons 5 and 6, after Joyce's death. Instead, trying to take on a more 'man of the house' persona (Again, i'm going off of what i'm/was exposed to. I'm aware everyone is different).
- Dawn would have been more hostile to Riley/Spike and Angel courting Buffy.
- Dawn would have been closer to Xander as a friend/Older brother and instead drool over Anya or Willow/Tara as she did for Xander and Spike.
-Dawn may have tried something with the potentials in season 7.

Most importantly and the biggest difference i can see, is i think Dawn would have done something entertaining (not counting the RJ episode or the one where she was briefly possessed and breathed fire) by getting into loads more trouble other than being a thief and getting kidnapped.
Booze, drugs (mystically or normal), magic, girls and such, after Joyce died...instead of being a brat. Basically lashing out/substance abusing her grief rather than how the real Dawn character acted.
 

Blaze

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This is gonna be a lame answer, but really nothing has to change. Most of the changes people are stating are based on preconstructed ideas of gender. Just because you go from a boy to a girl does not necessarily means that "Dawn" would be any less whiny, or more daring, or more protective. Those things are not necessarily based on gender, they are based on personality, on how you grew up, on your experiences, and even your genes. Just like Buffy loves Dawn for more than her being a female. And let's say you were to have a very shy introverted, and weak (for lack of better term) boy replace Dawn, I think Buffy would feel equally as protective, because that boy would still be powerless against everything Buffy has to deal with. You could very well have a boy who's personality matches Dawn's very closely.

And I have an older brother, but I would still 100% die for him if I had to. It has nothing to do with his gender.

Any definitely a boy wouldn't have been as whiny as Dawn in season 5.
Oh you'd be surprised. Teenage boys are just as whiny as teenage girls sometimes.

It's old fashioned and rather sexist, but we still think of boys as being capable and tough and able to take care of themselves, whereas same-aged girls need protecting and looking after. I don't think at any point did Joss ever think about making Dawn a boy, because the viewer would automatically treat him differently from the get-go.
That would have been a very Joss thing to do though! With role reversal and reverting gender constructs. I mean, he did it with Buffy, it would have been interesting to have that "damsel in distress" be a boy!

I think:
- Buffy would have still sacrificed herself. Dawn's gender wouldn't have mattered.
- Dawn would have tried to take out vamp's and such by himself at least once.
- Dawn wanting to learn to defend herself in season 7 would have come about much sooner.
- Dawn wouldn't have been a whiny little you know what during seasons 5 and 6, after Joyce's death. Instead, trying to take on a more 'man of the house' persona (Again, i'm going off of what i'm/was exposed to. I'm aware everyone is different).
- Dawn would have been more hostile to Riley/Spike and Angel courting Buffy.
- Dawn would have been closer to Xander as a friend/Older brother and instead drool over Anya or Willow/Tara as she did for Xander and Spike.
-Dawn may have tried something with the potentials in season 7.

Most importantly and the biggest difference i can see, is i think Dawn would have done something entertaining (not counting the RJ episode or the one where she was briefly possessed and breathed fire) by getting into loads more trouble other than being a thief and getting kidnapped.
Booze, drugs (mystically or normal), magic, girls and such, after Joyce died...instead of being a brat. Basically lashing out/substance abusing her grief rather than how the real Dawn character acted.
But this is all very stereotypical. Boys don't have to get into more trouble than girls, I know plenty of guys that were much quieter than girls, and never got into trouble. Just as a I know many girls that got into trouble and such. Just cause you have a boy instead of a girl doesn't make the whiny-ness go away. Some girls want to learn how to fight, while some guys never want to learn. I have a brother that is completely the opposite of everything you described, but he's not any less of a man for it.

It goes to show the preconstructed ideas we have on gender. Because in reality, Dawn doesn't have to change that much if she goes from female to male.
 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
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Sternbeeere
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totally agree, especially having seen those girls and guys you describe on my own.

bespangeled

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See, I was the older sister and I never felt protective towards my younger brother. If anything, it was the opposite! He always looked out for me, even though I was older.
I would have given mine to the gypsies until I was in my twenties. And my older brother told me , when I entered high school, I was not allowed to tell anyone we were related. We actually all get along fairly well.

Booze, drugs (mystically or normal), magic, girls and such, after Joyce died...instead of being a brat. Basically lashing out/substance abusing her grief rather than how the real Dawn character acted.
Which would have made Dan even more of a pain, and caused the show to lose what focus it had, IMO

Oh you'd be surprised. Teenage boys are just as whiny as teenage girls sometimes.
In my experence they aremore likely to put their fists through walls, though

It goes to show the preconstructed ideas we have on gender. Because in reality, Dawn doesn't have to change that much if she goes from female to male.
Yes, in reality. In television, I think a passive whiny teen boy would be seen as more broken than a girl. Though I do think it would have been fun to see Spike trying to teach him to be manly.
 

Blaze

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In my experence they aremore likely to put their fists through walls, though



Yes, in reality. In television, I think a passive whiny teen boy would be seen as more broken than a girl. Though I do think it would have been fun to see Spike trying to teach him to be manly.
In my case, I put 2 holes in the wall while my brother never did. Sometimes that stuff isn't related to gender. Which is kinda my point, gender is not everything.

As for Spike, let's not forget he was a sensitive poet boy, not sure he cares much about being manly.
 

bespangeled

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In my case, I put 2 holes in the wall while my brother never did. Sometimes that stuff isn't related to gender. Which is kinda my point, gender is not everything.

As for Spike, let's not forget he was a sensitive poet boy, not sure he cares much about being manly.
Yup - which is why he would want to teach young Willy/Dan how to be a man.:p
I agree - gender isn't everything. In fact, one of my kids was trans, so I kind of learned all about assuming.:)
 

GoSpuffy

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In my case, I put 2 holes in the wall while my brother never did. Sometimes that stuff isn't related to gender. Which is kinda my point, gender is not everything.

As for Spike, let's not forget he was a sensitive poet boy, not sure he cares much about being manly.
William was a sweet sensitive poet boy, spike kicked walls
 
Blaze
Blaze
Lol I tend to see both as one, or at least both have some part of each other. Come on that speech in Touched, that was the poet talking!

gite63

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Andrew, with some changes - including his age - could have been the Dawn-boy, instead of Tucker's brother. He had a crush on Spike and Xander, he would need to be protected initially but later joined the fight, he could be the one that really summoned Sweet...
 
GoSpuffy
GoSpuffy
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