Oh dear, Anna! Seriously? An essay like this is necessary? People are that clueless?
Sorry! Obviously so, or you wouldn’t have felt the rising frustration that motivated you to publish this. But reading through, it felt like, “Earth! Not flat! Round, people, round like ball.” Maybe it was because, back in my 40s, I had any number of female friends the same age who had no problem being independent and self-sufficient. Or because I married a woman in her 40s who enjoyed my company but didn’t feel like she needed me to make her complete (also: I’m her third husband, so the myth of the necessary male had long since been debunked), and who was doing just great before I showed up, thank you kindly. (We’ve been married over 17 years now, so I’m pretty sure she’s decided to keep me. I try not to take that for granted, though. 😉)
Thank you for putting this out here for the clueless, anyway! Even the clueless like me who never realized there was a problem.