I love your analysis! That is all so true. My husband has repeatedly commented that it’s a good thing he married a strong “peasant” woman as I will lug heavy furniture with him (and sometimes without him). I just chuckle because I am proud of being his partner. I like being capable and can’t imagine playing the “helpless girl” role.
I also think you’re right about having a specific item in mind when shopping vintage. You’ll never find it. You have to go into the store with an open mind and see what’s there.