The other night I sat down with daughter two to watch Mean Girls. I've been meaning to do this since I discovered Tina Fey. I was barracked in some quarters for watching "a girls film". I'm impervious to such criticism because I am happily reconciled to the fact that I am a bit, if not a lot of a girl. I can't work out if I've always been a bit of a girl or whether it was something that happened to me during the time I worked for a large publisher.
Magazines tend to be a female dominated medium. Working on or near women's magazines provides you with ample opportunity to talk airily about things that are a closed book to most men and the experience leaves you with views where most men don't have views. It also makes you more comfortable with nuances and to appreciate the wide disparity between what people say and what they mean.
I don't say this to get on the right side of women. There's quite enough inter-gender toadying going on. But I do it to have more fun. I have discovered that I prefer the company of women, if that doesn't sound like Jonathan Ross.
I get on fine with male friends but I tend to regard them as being above and beyond their category. About twenty years ago I was discussing middle-aged men as a taste group with a colleague who was also a middle-aged man. They're hopeless, he said, because unless you're talking about the subject in which they're the world's foremost expert they're not interested.
I said this was a bit harsh. Experience has taught me that he was only a bit harsh.