In real life, female fighters who fight in the UFC, as well as in action movies, know how to punch, but in fighting games, female fighters are often stereotyped as fighting predominately with kicks, or they do punch, but their punches are weak in comparison to their kicks; TV Tropes calls this trope a “kick chick.” The trope codifier is Chun-Li, who debuted in Street Fighter II, the original female fighter. Since then, many female fighters have followed in her footsteps, but by kicking almost all the time, they are promoting the negative stereotype that women don’t know how to punch. Chun-Li practices kung fu and tai chi, and I’m sure that those martial arts are not all kicking; they definitely have punches in them. And one Street Fighter character, Elena from Street Fighter III, takes it to the extreme by never, ever using her fists; she doesn’t punch at all! Her fighting style is capoeira, which has a lot of kicks, but still. And Juri is another example of a kick chick; she practices taekwondo, but again, to be fair, that martial art consists of predominately kicks (though it does have at least a few punches). The only female fighters who should be kick chicks are those who practice taekwondo and ninjutsu, since ninjas apparently also tend to kick more often than they punch as well. Everyone else should punch more often than they kick. And I would also like to see a female fighter who practices boxing, and uses only punches.
Why are female fighters in fictional fighting games often portrayed as kick chicks who don’t know how to punch?