I’m smiling to myself about how consistently we seem to see the world from completely opposite perspectives. My husband had real female friends when I met him and the colleagues he was closest to at his first job were female. That’s a part of the way that I knew he was the guy for me. A man who can’t be friends with women sees them as not actual people but merely as sexual opportunities and temptations.
I was friendly with a bunch of guys in high school but when I saw them at a mutual guy friend’s wedding several years later they had nothing to say to me because I was there with my husband. This indicates 2 things to me 1) that they were only friends with me because they thought there was potential for more and 2) that if I “belonged” to someone else, they had no use for me. Neither of these made me feel respected or honored or anything good. It’s the fucking Mike Pence rule of “never be alone with a woman who isn’t your wife” which keeps women from having actual equality because they are not seen as full human beings who are anything more than sexual opportunities or temptations. It keeps women have having access to professional mentors and networking opportunities, amongst other things.
If you don’t know how to be friends with a woman who isn’t in your family without it turning sexual, that’s a large cultural problem.