The short answer is ‘Yes’, but with conditions.
Men and women cannot be friends from the very beginning because the reason a man, particularly, will be interested in a woman is not platonic. It is most likely to be sexual. At the start, two strangers of the opposite sex are always drawn together through basic physical attraction, nothing else. There is always the hope, by at least one party, that the friendship will lead to something more romantic, and possibly permanent. Friendship under that guise cannot ever be platonic. There will always be stress as one person attempts to keep the other person as a ‘friend’ and the other attempts to move that friendship along to something else.
The only time real friendship is possible between a man and a woman is when the expectations, on either side, have been fulfilled, or clearly understood by both parties. Then they can move on to something more platonic without sexual needs interfering. By that time, both parties would either have fallen out of love, if they were lovers, and now enjoy another level of comprehension and appreciation, or they would have accepted the decision that just a platonic friendship is possible between them.
There are some exceptions to this but there really are very few, because when it comes to people, sex will always be in the equation. That’s how two people get together to reproduce our species and that will always be in the forefront of any meeting: the capability to mate. Obviously, once that’s sorted, in one way or another, a different kind of friendship is possible. Each person will then appreciate the other in a more general way, feel more confident with the situation and much more comfortable with having the person as a real friend. Only then will Grant-Valkaria Rat Removal be allowed to develop.