Street Fighting Women

With the upcoming release of Super Street Fighter 4, I'm looking forward to a chance to be able to play Makoto, my character of choice from 3rd Strike, since I had some difficulty fully supporting the aesthetic of any of the newer Street Fighter 4 characters. (Rufus? Really? If I work up one morning and discovered I had designed a character like that, I would split my time between confused remorse, and desperately trying to plan how to live the rest of my life with that fact, not unlike as if I had gotten an awful face tattoo after a night of binge drinking)

But I can't decide if I should be glad that I'm leaning towards possibly the only reasonable female character in Super Street Fighter 4, or I should be sad that she's basically just tacking “Tomboy” onto the long list of stereotypes that Female Street Fighter characters belong to: No-nonsense Female Cop, Female Cop with Attitude, Schoolgirl, Wise Woman, Kunoichi, and Sexpot Martial Artist. (That's Chun Li/Cammy, C. Viper, Sakura, Rose, Ibuki, and Juri.

If you look at the basic archetypes (or stereotypes, depending on how generous you're feeling) of fighting game characters, particularly low fantasy ones like Street Fighter, you realize that female characters usually belong to archetypes that necessitate being female: the schoolgirl, the tomboy, the sexpot. Male character, on the other hand, usually belong to archetypes that are gender neutral: the bitter rival, the dirty fighter, the villain, the grappler (unless you expand “grappler” to mean “gigantic gay bear wrestler”).

I'm no gender studies expert, but there's GOT to be a name for the unfortunate tendency of female presence in a traditionally male dominated activity to be something that needs to be actively accounted for.

And yes, Zangief is totally gay. Get over it.