As men age, they tend to mellow out, becoming less aggressive. As muscles turn to mush, anger turns to grouch, until they rarely get “all het up” about much of anything. Women, on the other hand, tend to become more aggressive, drawn to violent sports and true crime shows, especially if they contain an element of comeuppance.
If I looked at the demographics for smack-down wrestling and the Murder Channel, my husband’s generic name for the cable channels I often watch, I’d find them chock-full of peri- and post-menopausal women. This is no new phenomenon.
My grandmother and I used to watch wrestling, “live from the Wrestlethon in San Antonio, Texas,” rooting for her favorites and booing the villain of the week. She really got off on the violence. Of course there was little if any real damage done to the wrestlers, and she knew it was all for show. I was only in kindergarten, and we hadn’t studied psychology yet, or I would have pondered her deep-seated anger and explored what caused it. Now I kind of understand.
I only watch true crime shows in which the miscreant is caught and punished. I can’t watch “America’s Most Wanted” for a couple of reasons. First, I’m left very unsatisfied knowing the criminal is still out there somewhere having fun. Second, everyone I see at the grocery store reminds me of someone featured on the show.
As men chill out, women develop a taste for payback. If you want to hunt down a deadbeat dad, a bank robber, or a war criminal, put an old lady on the trail. Being a bounty hunter, vigilante, or crime-fighting superhero weren’t career choices I remember having when I was young. As a matter of fact, my mother believed there were only two proper occupations for a woman: being a teacher or a nurse. She vetoed nursing for me before I even considered it, because I would come in contact with naked people. She was convinced that if a woman worked at it, she could go her whole life without ever seeing a naked person. I still wonder about that.
Sometimes I think I should start a second (or third or tenth) career as an outside-the-box crime fighter. I like the idea of tracking down despicables, giving them a fair trial followed by a first-class hanging. I can see making “Granny Vigilante” a valid occupation, worthy of its own number for the IRS 1099 form’s occupation box.
First I’d go after the Nazis still living in South America. They aren’t getting any younger, and I think I could catch them in a fair chase. Then I’d go after terrorists and traitors and make them confess. I’d have no need for waterboarding; I’d just schedule a colonoscopy and they’d sing. Finally, I’d hunt down the sadist that brought back pointy-toed shoes. The possibilities are endless.
So move over “CSI” and “NCIS”, and even “Law and Order,” in all its incarnations. There’s a new sheriff in town: Mad Maxine, Granny Vigilante.