I've worked for almost 20 years in various newsrooms as a reporter and, for the past ten years or so as an editor. In each of those newsrooms there's been at least one man, usually two or three, who become what I refer to privately as my "brothers." (I can't just come out and say, "I love you, man," for a variety of reasons, but I do care a great deal for them.) I wasn't raised around boys, and my father was gone a lot, so I've always lived in very female environments. However, these newsroom guys occur emotionally to me the way I think brothers probably do -- irreverent, funny, sly, good-hearted but not with hearts on sleeves, sometimes just plain obnoxious, often helpful in a "guy" way -- and they have from the get-go helped me survive.
In the first two newsrooms where I worked, I was the only woman or only one of two women, so having this benign-butthead energy was a saving grace for me. Sometimes, as you can imagine, a newsroom can get to be a very hairy place -- stories that tear your guts out, deadlines that make you tear your hair out, angry people who seem to want to tear your heart out -- so having someone with just the right touch of gallows humor and down-deep goodness can make all the difference. It's a great compliment to me that they consider me one of the guys, and that my womanliness is in no way diminished by that view of me.(At the paper where I now work, my three "brothers" are also musicians. We get together occasionally to jam and we kid about starting a band called the Phirst Amendment. What do you think? ;-> )
On the other hand, I may have gone too far to *their* side. I sometimes get really impatient with people, mostly women, who always want to "process" everything, and who seem to think feeling matters as much as doing. I'm very action-oriented, and at this point I don't know if that's because I've spent my entire adult life in newsrooms, or if I gravitated to newsrooms because of that orientation.
At any rate, having guy-friends helps keep me balanced and I allow them, through word and deed, to coach me.