Slate is running another great series of articles, this one exploring male-female relationships. In a recent article, the author mentions that a lot of our culture's unease about platonic male-female friendships is probably related to gender roles.
I like having guy friends. The article mentions women like not having to talk about their feelings all the time with their guy friends. I take umbrage with this statement. There are guy friends that I never talk to about my feelings, but I don't want to conclude that's because of their gender. It could easily be their personality, because I have lots of other guy friends who I can have long, private conversations with too. And because there are girl friends that I have very little of those discussions and others that I have a lot with.
Gender seems to me to be a poor way of choosing friends or even relating to them, especially since there are so many personalities and experiences to learn from and understand. I like this series because it explores how strange society reacts to these relationships, but sometimes the assumptions about gender bothers me. Gender is far more flexible and fluid.