Should a woman have her own interests or should she only be interested in food and cooking?[/QUOTE]
I think this is like asking "Should a man only be interested in being a good husband and father or should he also have some personal hobbies?" The answer is obvious: do both not one or the other.
[QUOTE]A fine fellow here mentioned that when he heard the word independence from a woman, it had a meaning that struck a chord with him due to his experiences.
In my experience the term "independent woman" can mean a wide range of things from "I am not so needy that you can't have interests of your own -- I'm not co-dependent" (good) to the other extreme of "I do things my way and you are just a (very secondary) addition to my life -- if you agree with me then fine, if not hit the road" (bad). I will say that of all the women I've met who called themselves that, there were more of the second than the first so I, too, am cautious.
It might be helpful for ladies who do put that in their profile to share why. Men, for instance, don't put that in their profiles.
If you have met the second type, they have ruined it for us who have interest of our own, but request that a husband becaome a full part of our lives.