First, read this linked article to find out what the author has to say on the subject. Then I’ll throw in my own two cents’ worth.
Oh, boy. When the very first sentence talks about men writing “misguided things,” it kinda sets the tone, doesn’t it? You sorta know what kind of article you’re going to be dealing with, and the sort of person who likely wrote it. Then she (Did you doubt for one second that the author is a she?) mentions the genre of “men who are baffled that women like vampires.” An entire genre? Really? Maybe she’s seen some things that I haven’t. Says the author: “They [meaning the men] theorize that women like vampires because vampires are bad boys, and women therefore want to change them (no). Or that women secretly love it when men attack them (also no). Or that women like vampires because vampires are old, and all women universally prefer condescending older men (seriously?).” Yes. Seriously, indeed. Do men actually think that? I mean, sure, there are those numbskulls who do. But enough numbskulls to comprise an entire GENRE? Can those numbskulls even manage to create a genre? As I said, maybe she’s seen something I haven’t.
The author blames it all on Lord Byron. Naturally. He was a man.
In actuality, she provides a good examination of the timeline of vampires in literature and folklore (and Byron DID play a big part in that) as well as a tidy explanation for why “chicks dig vampires.” But I would argue women really find vampires “sexy” for the same reasons that men find them sexy, that it goes deeper than merely longing for a “monster who doesn’t really want to hurt you at all.” Unless, that is, the “monster” we’re talking about is death. Vampires are nothing less than the eroticism of death. Seductive, alluring, irresistible. They make you WANT the bite. And that, in a sense, takes the bite out of the real-world horror of dying, something that men and women equally have to come to terms with.