Recent history makes clear that society is not always progressing. Take vampires, for example -- or at least the mythologies surrounding them. While the undead bloodsuckers have never been more popular, much of their current fascination has been sparked by the Twilight franchise.
The basic, disturbing crux of the series rests on its deep advocation of traditional gender roles. Both the female's feelings of emptiness when away from her lover for even an hour and the male's obsession with domination in the name of "protecting" her are coded as incredibly, impossibly "romantic," a celebration of old-fashioned, stalk-me-then-marry-me values.
Luckily, we have Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the rescue.
Seven years after the series went off the air, Buffy Summers remains a rarity in the world of American entertainment -- a female character who is not attracted to a simpering pin-up who would kill her if only he didn't love her so much.