Alright...so I know the saying goes that according to biology men are physically stronger than most women in real life. So when it comes to fiction or making up your own stories, when you pit a male warrior vs. a female warrior...both are at their physical prime...how much would you say readers pay attention to the "real life" aspect of biological strength? From my experience, I've read a handful of male vs. female fights (not involving magic, just brute strength) and according to the world setting, I don't think about it much. Now if it was a really small very fit woman fighting a very large very fit man, I wouldn't find that believable in that she would win unless she had some crazy maneuvering skills. In this short story I just started writing over the weekend, I like to write so that all my women and men are on identical levels of strength without bringing it up much. Maybe their biology is different in the world I'm creating. But then I think about what would most readers in real life think about this. No magical powers or anything supernatural...Would they find it possible that a human woman can defeat a human man in battle? The villain in my story is a very physically fit woman who has proven herself over her years in battle and has her share of battle scars to prove it. I imagine she's about 5'8" or so in height. In the story, she's around 34 or so. She doesn't have a bodybuilder type body....very physically toned though...I would say she would mirror Kassandra from the new Assassin's Creed game to get a more accurate picture of how strong her build is. She is very experienced in battle, she's no slouch when it comes to fighting and she has a lot of guts. She has a strong confidence in herself that she can defeat anybody. Not saying that she will win every fight she's in...she can match most males in strength but may have a problem with ones that are taller or bulkier than her. She is human....she is not invincible. And when I talk about fighting here, it could range from a purely physical fight like punching and all that or could involve sword combat and such. Another thing about male vs. female physical fights I find a little bit odd is how brutal can they be? We see male hero vs. male villain fights all the time in movies, TV, and in books....lots of blood is shed sometimes. Not that is happens a lot whole lot, female hero vs. female villain fights are similar level but not as brutal. Now...male hero vs. female villain fights....we don't see them a whole lot...when they happen in a movie or book, it seems like the physical contact is very minimal. It feels like when it comes to those sort of fights, media/society whatever 'blanket' the female villain from being beat up too bad or ultimately dying. Seems like the female villains get out alive with sometimes without a scratch, are allowed to live when the story concludes. Seems like the male heroes hold back against the female villains. I don't find that believable if she's supposed to be this super deadly person and she gets out alive...happens in most things I've watched and read. Very cliche. My point is...my female villain is an extremely dangerous criminal and she has killed a lot of people through her henchmen and especially at her own hand. In this story I'm writing, I want my male hero to show no mercy against her when he comes up to fight her (probably one time in the middle and at the very end). I want her to get roughed up, bloodied, etc., because that's naturally how I feel about fights against her. Given how society is these days when portraying male vs. female fights, I've just been concerned how the average reader would view this type of fight. I mean I know how in fiction anything can be believable if you shape it to be that way right. Just asking for advice/thoughts/opinions. Sorry for the long-winded explanation but speaking my mind. Male vs. Female physical fights (no magic!!!) in fiction....give me your two cents.