In the 1990s, with the proliferation of video-rental shops, I noticed changes in the format of horror movies, mostly caused by the emergence of lady-cop types--young, attractive women who do not tolerate sexism from their male cohorts.

In fact, the number of lady-cops, FBI agents, monster-hunters, and warrior-princesses just staggered me. Each new movie-character tried to outdo the last one in toughness and intolerance of sexism.

The Silence of the Lambs movie from 1991, starring Jodie Foster, may have started the trend; followed by The X-Files in 1993, starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny; then the TV series Xena, Warrior Princess, followed by the movie Copycat, starring Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver, both of which appeared in 1995.

Female empowerment also played a role in TV viewership when I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s. The female characters gained power through possession of magic, such as the TV series Bewitched, from 1964 and I Dream of Genie, from 1965. In each of these roles, the women exercised unlimited power with self-effacing humor. Now women want power from legitimate government authority, complete with firearms.

Modern horror-films certainly deliver the goods! They scare the shit out of anyone foolish enough to watch them. The plots routinely involve terrifying monsters--hideous creatures that kill people in brutal ways. The girls may enjoy seeing the tough, lady-cops in action, tolerating no sexism from their male cohorts, but the mostly male film-directors make the girls pay through the nose for their enjoyment.