See, for me, BtVS (at least in its early seasons) was about using comic effect to tackle heavy issues. There were other TV shows that were available at the time that discussed things from a literal viewpoint. BtVS was less direct, it was about leading you to the issue and then allowing you to decide for yourself what you thought. This was actually one of my favourite things about the show, that it never felt like an after school special lecturing me. The combination of comedy and demons to tackle issues never felt like a problem to me personally, but if it was to you then I can understand. We all see things differently
No I agree with you and do think that's what the show does. I just don't think it works in the case of this episode. I would also be more on board with the Xander thing if it was not at odds with the dodgy gender politics in the rest of the episode.