Personally, I don’t care if someone wants to call me a girl, boy, or cocker spaniel. But, many girls shared some very personal, intimate matters with me, and if there was some doubt in their mind as to what I am, it could cause them considerable agmas Nefesh. I worked very hard on my blog, and B”h helped out a lot of people , and I don’t appreciate some thoughtless, insensitive jerks trying to sabotage it.
I was always taught that embarrassing someone in public or hurting someone’s feelings is infinitely worse then saying Good Shabbos to a boy , or having relationships with the other gender, platonic or otherwise.
If the seminaries and Yeshivas that those commenters attended didn’t impart that message they failed abysmally. Before you attack, I am not saying that all bf/gf stuff is 100% proper. Obviously, we arent melochim. Im just saying that intentionally hurting someone is far worse.
As for Plutonic Relationships, obviously everyone has to know themselves, and what their real intentions are. If you don’t have basic Yiras Shomayim, all the gedarim and Mechitzas in the world won’t help. It also depends on whether people are mature enough to handle it. Another factor is that when they come from very-repressed backgrounds they cant.
I can honestly say that I have had many close male friends in College, that I was not attracted to at all, based on age, appearance, and culture, but nevertheless were good friends. After marriage, it is clearly a lot easier to maintain such friendships without any improper thoughts whatsoever.
With all due respect, to Lakewwod and places like it, the problem with ultra-Right Wing frum communities is men and women don’t see each other as people. With all the emphasis on gender-segregation by everything imaginable, (there are even separate hours in some supermarkets) , and neighbors not even saying good morning to each other , it just reduces women into sex-objects and degrades them. This was never the intention of the Gedolim of previous generations.