WHAT I write is “misogynist [sic] dinosaur sh***”, I have “cellulite of the face” and it transpires “the sex appeal of a puddle of pavement sick”. (Not a bad line.)

I could reveal more of the comments that question my sanity, integrity and talent this past week, as a result of the column "Do women lose their sexuality at 50?" But the point to mentioning the social media sandblasting is to say I can’t really be too upset when Annie Brown of the Record cites my cellulite, or when Radio Three music journalist and Herald contributor Kate Molleson labels me a misogynist.

For two reasons; the first is this week sees the Scottish Law Commission’s recommendations on defamation law being debated, the Government hoping to ensure a balance between freedom of expression and the protection of an individual’s reputation. It’s an excellent move, and will hopefully curtail the slaphappy litigious.

The second reason is I won’t be claiming defamation because my opening paragraph last week was ill-judged. Intended to parody French writer Yann Moix’s argument that women of a certain age are past it, it was read by many – including my sister – as me actually saying “Metoo, Moix!”

What I’ve failed to appreciate is that journalism has moved on and the flip argument device is becoming more suspect. In the Guardian this week columnist Arwa Mahdawi wrote “Britain is a horrible little country filled with incorrigible racists and led by bigots”. The writer then went on to say she didn’t agree with this thesis at all. But because readers read newspaper columns on phones, on tablets, on trains, at bus stops, opinions are all too often formed in the first 50 words or less.

It’s not enough, I’ve learned, to write later in the piece “Yann Moix is talking merde”, or “I wouldn’t want to date a 25-year-old.” Readers may not see it. (Or want to see it.) So no more parody and hyperbole openers for me. (After today).

I’m also disappointed the column didn’t hit the intended mark. I’d hoped to engender a wider debate about sexual desire and fear. I wanted to ask if Moix’s preference for younger partners is representative of many men (and women) – who realise they’re appearing in Act Three of their life, yet wishing desperately to be taking the stage at the end of Act One.

Read more: Do women really lose their sex appeal when they hit 50?

Interestingly, Monday night’s return of Cold Feet ran along those lines. Adam (James Nesbitt) lusts after a 22-year-old barista, deluding himself she fancies older men. Writer Mike Bullen anticipated his audience’s dying sympathies for the hair-dyeing character and featured a dialogue with Hermione Norris’s Karen, who suggests that Adam’s fantasies signal fear of death.

But thanks to confusing writing on my part the theatre that is Twitterworld cast me as a vainglorious, tragic Adam (but without Nesbitt’s looks). On one level I had to laugh; if I were ever friends with the bedroom mirror that relationship has altered. I didn’t need Annie Brown to tell me I was “as sexy as Steptoe”. (a wee bit harsh, given I do have my own teeth). I know the mirror already mocks me, holds me in contempt of any aspirations of tight-jeaned youthfulness by displaying every lump, bump crease and grey hair.

Yet, while I can take a sticks-and-stones approach to personal insult, the invective-laden response to the column makes me worry about some feminists' double standards. I certainly wouldn’t describe a female, as Annie Brown labelled me (a bit unimaginatively), as “Egg stain on Columbo’s coat”. And if Moix is so obviously “a moron”, why is Madonna, who has only had one partner over 25 since she was 25, a feminist role model? (An iatrogenic consequence of the movement?)

I’d also like to debate why is it wrong for me to talk about fanciability – but it’s fine for Annie Brown to lust after Christopher Lambert during an interview and then declare, “Don’t let me drunk dial him?”Gosh, if I’d written that of say, Sharon Stone, Twitter would label me a sleazy stalker. And probably rightly so.

Sadly, the extremist personal comment is symptomatic of a growing gender divide. And the worry is it will alienate men who want absolute equality of opportunity for women.

It’s fine for Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth to say I give her “the boak”, however commentator Angela Haggerty actually insisted I should be sacked. Ok, give me a bit of stick, Angela, but my head on the stick is a bit severe. Or “pray for a meteor,” wrote Brown. Surely death is a bit extreme, Annie? I’m guilty of seeming to agree with a delusional French bloke. I haven’t advocated the return of slavery, or the caging of Guatemalan children.

But as I say, I got it wrong from the start. The column made me look like a Moix, although I have to take issue with one Twitter comment. Someone with a nom de twit wrote of me; “What an utter fud. I remember him from school at St Mirin’s in Paisley. He couldny get a date then either.”

Well, the fud part may well be right – but the date part is wrong. Her name is Pauline O’Donnell. All through fifth and sixth year. She was gorgeous. Still is.

Read more: Do women really lose their sex appeal when they hit 50?