PITY poor Jeremy Clarkson, nothing but a modern man with modern sensibilities, a fragile soul in need of delicate care.

We want men to be able to express their feelings rather than keep them bottled inside and is not Clarkson a role model in that regard?

Recently he wrote of watching the funeral of Princess Diana, "sat there for hours, crying my eyes out." Break your heart, it really would.

The late Queen's funeral did a number on him too. "I was gasted with flabber," he wrote, and if you can parse meaning from that, the correspondence address for the receipt of postcards is on the homepage.

He’s overcome with emotion, our friend Clarkson, a man so brittle he might split. Except when he musters the strength to punch colleagues who fail to bring him a hot dinner. Remember that wheeze?

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On this occasion Clarkson is in the virtual stocks for degrading and appalling comments made about Meghan Markle, alongside a weird swipe at Nicola Sturgeon.

In his Sun column, he wrote of hating Markle “on a cellular level”, adding he is “dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain."

Will there be any consequence for him on this go round? When he apparently whacked a colleague in a fit of hanger because there was no food at his hotel – one onlooker gave the marvellous quote: "We were surprised at his reaction, because we were all thinking 'surely soup is food' – he lost his Top Gear gig. David Cameron lamented the decision at the time, saying his old pal was a good entertainer.

Clarkson’s idea of entertainment is medieval, humiliating women in the streets. We've progressed as a society, at least most of us have.

And what entertainment, really? "The Markles", he wittily calls Meghan and Harry. You see what he did there? He's implying that Meghan wears the trousers in the marriage. It's really very clever.

He's previously written a fever dream imagining of Meghan Markle's funeral. A small affair and a small obit on P27 of The Times, he sees it being.

It's a bit of a sick obsession he has with Markle, and gives a neat illustration of what the Duchess is complaining about when she complains of press bullying and intrusion.

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Clarkson has subsequently apologised for the column with a mealy-mouthed "I've rather put my foot in it". He is, he tweeted, "horrified to have caused so much hurt". Is he hell.

He knows exactly what he's writing and he knows exactly who his audience is and he doesn't see or care about any wider harm caused by writing glibly misogynistic columns. Ipso, the press watchdog, has already received 6000 complaints about the column, which shows a decent degree of pushback.

The truly grim thing is, though, there's appetite for this. There remains a vast enough proportion of insecure men who feel undermined by the progress and success of women so need to cut them down to size.

In his column Clarkson compares the Scottish first minister to the serial killer Rose West, saying he hates them both equally. In response, Sturgeon said she pities Clarkson and, as a politician, accepts a degree of public criticism.

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It's no unique observation to say that much of the abuse levelled at the FM is fuelled by the fact of her sex. This week has seen Sturgeon tweet her annual round up of her favourite books.

The wildly misplaced anger this cheerful, useful act incurs is nuts. We want a politician who reads. We want a political leader who is engaged and interested in all the multiple benefits of fiction, who is promoting authors and who knows how to balance breakneck work with restorative downtime.

There's no logical criticism of a first minister listing her favourite books and yet... abuse is the inevitable response.

This week the Scottish Parliament will vote on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

Men who are involved in the fight for trans and women's rights use the debate as an excuse to berate women. One of the byproducts of this debate has been the relentless chiding of and shouting at women.

It is dispiriting to log in to social media and see men – well-intentioned men, men you otherwise like or admire – having a go at women for holding different opinions to them. Men who will be totally unaffected by any legislation changes but who see no issue, who do not pause, before telling women to move over, shut up, be kind, make space.

Are they misogynists? They wouldn't accept the label. Neither would Clarkson or any of the lads who get off on traducing the first minister online.

Misogyny finds many excuses: she's annoying, she disagrees with me, she should stick to the day job. It can be blatantly expressed by men like Clarkson or it can be a quiet undercurrent influencing men who would call themselves feminist allies in public.

Fragile creatures, the lot of them, driven demented by women asserting themselves. The first minister is more magnanimous than I with her pity. Sauce for the goose, you might say, if the thought of seeing Clarkson naked wasn't a punishment for us.

No, he can keep his clothes on and, please, his mouth shut.