Thoughts on the difference between ‘male work’ and ‘female work’

Recently, in a conversation, I mentioned ‘male work’ and ‘female work’.  This got me to thinking.  I have mentioned before that the male and female are different people with different traits (I spoke of similar things in an article I wrote called “Thoughts on the different male and female characters – “male culture” and “female culture”“).   Its really not surprising, then, that they tend to do different types of work and in different ways.

I should point out that this is a psychological inquiry.  I’m looking at the naturally appearing tendencies that appear in the male and female.  What I have found is that these naturally appearing tendencies seldom follow political and legal viewpoints.  I mention this because, at least in the U.S., too many people are trying to fit psychology into political and legal theory.  I’ve seen too many cases where the difference between the sexes is looked at from a political or legal viewpoint.  All this has done is created a distorted viewpoint of the different sexes.  Its distorted it so much that its becoming a fight to try to get back to the ‘real-world’ situation again.

Much of my inquiry is a result of looking at several things:

  • The historical record.  Worldwide, in 3,000 years of recorded history, the male and female have been doing similar things.
  • Psychology.
  • Recent behavior.  My observation of recent behavior only confirm what the previous two show.


‘Male work’ and ‘female work’ is the style of work that each sex does as a result of their naturally appearing strengths and weaknesses.  It defines what they do, why they do it, and how they do it.  In effect, each sex is predisposed to do certain forms of work and to work in a certain way, all determined by their sexual character.  Even though they may do the same thing it will be done differently, in different ways, for different reasons, from a different point of view, and with different logic.  Because of this the ‘work’ each does is different.


I often describe the character of ‘male work’ as ‘participatory-creative-expansive-personal’.

Participatory – Male work generally entails participation.  This entails a group of people working together for a common goal.  Because of this, it tends to be hieriarchial.  Often, the joy that males find in work comes from this participatory quality.  This often becomes the great strength of ‘male work’.  But, because of its importance, it is also a source of problems.  Many problems that males have at work is because of social and participatory conflicts with other people.  They’ll often get in these little ‘class struggle’ situtations, for example, which can create many problems and bad feelings.

Creative – Male work often entails a need to be creative.  Often, there is great pleasure in solving things and creative productivity.  They will often create new systems, tools, and such to faciliate work.  Many males will take great chances and risks to be creative.  For some males, this becomes a great joy in work.

Expansive – The male character tends to make the male ‘look beyond’ what is immediately there.  As a result, they tend to philosophise, experiment, and take chances in things.  This tendency also tends to make them ‘look out’ into the world.  This often makes them do very daring ventures, even going into areas in which they are not protected or may entail possible death.  The lack of expansiveness can cause problems for many males though.  Many males have problems because work is too static, dull, boring, and such.  I’ve heard many males speak of this need to be expansive in work.

Personal – Many males take their work personally.  That is to say, they view it as an extension of themselves.  As a result, work has great influence on their self-esteem, self-worth, and how they view themselves.  Because of this, males tend to be more ‘touchy’ about work than females are.  They need to feel that it is worthwhile and useful.  In actuality, much of the males view of life and the world is based in his feelings and attitudes about work.  For example, if he has contempt for his work he will generally have a contempt for life.  If he is unhappy at work he is unhappy at life.  Because of the personal nature of work much of the battle that takes place in the male life is based in work and the problems of work.  My observation is that most males will spend a lifetime trying to “come to terms” with work.  For some it is a battle that never ends.

Some other traits include:

  • There seems to be a greater spectrum or work attitudes with the male than with the female.  This can range from a robotic way of doing things to great daringness.
  • Many forms of male work tend to be physically demanding and difficult.
  • Many forms of male work are mentally demanding.  This can cause great stress, turmoil, and conflict for many males.  Sometimes, some males will want work to be mentally demanding and will sometimes force it to be that way as it makes them feel productive.  Its not uncommon, though, for some males to do this to the point that it is unhealthy.
  • Many males will willingly suffer at work, especially if it is for a good reason.  They will often tolerate great pain and discomfort and difficulty.
  • Males tend to be impaired by being somewhat impatient and restless.  Some males cannot do repetetive things for a long period of time.
  • Many males need to feel that they are doing something worthwhile.  The loss of this sense can devestate many males feelings about themselves.
  • Many males need variety in their work and tend to dislike monotony.

‘Male work’ tends to be dynamic and active.  They are often doing things and accomplishing things.  Because of this, the males has been instrumental in the creation of great works and achievements all over the world throughout history.


 I often describe the character of ‘female work’ as ‘Maintenance-continuing-confined-impersonal’.

Maintenance – Female work tends to have a maintenance quality.  That is to say, they ‘keep things going’.  The old saying, “keep the home fires burning”, is very accurate for female work.  Females are very good at keeping existing systems going.  This quality has helped humanity keep going under difficult situations.

Continuing – The female character is good at learning how to do something and doing the same thing day after day without change.  These jobs are typically monotonous simple jobs.  The historical records shows that this is one of the main activities of females.  This same type of monotonous job would drive many males up the wall.

Confined – Female work seldom ‘goes outside the box’.  That is to say, they seldom create new things or invent things.  Though they may be creative from time to time, it is not a dominant trait.  Once they have something to do they do it with little elaboration, with little experimentation and little development.  Many females, throughout the centuries, would learn to do something as a teenager and would be doing the same thing, unchanged, three decades later.  In actuality, females are doing no different nowadays even with all this “fancy” education (which people seem to think is some form of advancement).  Before, they would learn how to make clothes, for example (which can take a lot of skill and ability).  Now, they may go to school and even have a degree (which can also take a lot of skill and ability) . . . they’re still doing the same thing.  They still learn something (which could range from something simple to something complex) and then confine themselves to that.

Impersonal – Females don’t tend to view work as a reflection of themselves like males do.  Because of this, it is not a source of self-esteem and worth.  They tend to view work as impersonal.  Because of this, females don’t seem to need to feel that they are being productive or doing something worthwhile as a result.  In all my life I’ve seldom, if ever, heard this fact mentioned by females (whereas its continually mentioned by males).  As a result, females can often handle ‘unpleasant’, boring, and monotonous jobs better than males can.  Sometimes, this makes them able to handle conflicts at work better too.

Other qualities include.

  • They seem to have a more narrow spectrum of work attitudes than the male.  Being confined, they usually do specific jobs and do it the same way for decades.
  • The female need for other people means that they often like work that involves associating with people.  Its not uncommon that this is confused with other things.  Generally, this means they like to be in the midst of people and nothing more.  It does not necessarily mean they like to be part of a group or team.  I’ve also seen cases where this desire to be in the midst of people is mistakingly associated with leadership.
  • Many females tend to work while staying within the confines of a protected environment.  That is, they don’t ‘venture off’ into the world like the male.  They also don’t like to work in potentially dangerous places like the male.
  • Typically, female work entails little or no creation.
  • Female work tends to not be physically demanding.
  • Their work is often not mentally demanding.  When it is, its often a result of the fact that the job just happens to be that way.
  • Female work often repetitive and monotonous.
  • They tend to not like to solve things.
  • It is often very imitative.  Much ‘female work’ is based in a “watch and do” type of mentality.
  • Its not uncommon that it has a slavish quality.
  • They are very patient in their work.  I’ve heard of many instances where females in primitive tribes, for example, mention that they don’t want males doing some forms of work because they aren’t patient enough.
  • ‘Female work’ tends to be robotic-like.  In fact, females are almost too good at being robotic.  They seem to take to it naturally.  Because of this, females, all over the world, end up doing robotic-like work.

‘Female work’ tends to keep things going but their work tends to be stagnate in nature. 


All over the world ‘male work’ and ‘female work’ fit together like hand-in-glove.  They are both complementary and both have been necessary to sustain humanity.  They’ve done this in different ways, of course.

To explain the difference I have often compared the two to an automobile.  ‘Male work’ is like the stopping, accelerating, shifting gears, etc. of a car.  ‘Female work’ is like the idling of the engine which keeps it running.  Its because of this that I’ve often jokingly called males the “the pushers” (as they seem to push things like pressing down on a gas pedal) and the females “the idlers” (by this, I mean “idle” in the way a car idles and remains running though it doesn’t go anywhere).

The male character is such that they were the ones who ‘did things’ and ‘went out into the world’.  The female character is such that they have always kept humanity ‘sustained’ and running.

One can see that both are needed and necessary for humanity.


The modern-style of work is creating a specific way of working.  In general, the modern-style work has created a number of conditions that are now prevalent in many work environments such as:

  • Work is robotic or mechanistic in nature.
  • It is sedentary.
  • It is static and monotonous.
  • A person is an appendage to a machine or system . . . there is little sense of participating in a group.
  • It seldom requires creativity.

These qualities are something that are ‘imposed upon us’.  That is, the system makes them that way and we must conform to it.  Work, before the modern world, was not ‘imposed on us’.  Rather, the work style was a result of the ‘nature of the work’.  Though this may sound trivial and “splitting hairs” it is actually a big difference.  In the work, before the modern world, the work-style was determined by requirements of necessity . . . it was what was required to get things done.  In the modern work-style we are told what to do, the system dictates it.  Its like a ready-made pre-fabricated way of working.  This quality is one of the things that make it mechanistic and robotic.  The work-style before the modern world, on the other hand, was more dynamic.  As a result, the modern work-style has caused a more marked demarcation between the robotic and dynamic.

The modern work conditions has caused a dilemma for the male.  I sometimes speak of this as the ‘male modern work dilemma’.  Basically, this says that the modern-style work is not suited to the male character.  Because of this, many males are finding difficulty dealing with it.  One of the effects of the more static modern-style work is that the many males have begun to do things such as:

  • They have “lost interest” in work and no longer take it that seriously.  There is no longer a ‘drive’ and they lack ambition.
  • They seem as if they are looking somewhere else in life to find fullfillment. Many males are looking into areas that are not good, beneficial, or productive, such as computer games and other fantasy-related things.

I can see this quality in the look many males have.

The modern-style work, on the other hand, seems to reflect a lot of female character traits.  In other words, the female character fits well into the new modern working conditions than does the male.  As I said above, the female is almost too good at being robotic-like . . . and many females are demonstrating that robotic nature in work . . . impersonal, mechanistic, slavish, etc.  This is why I often speak of the female as the “modern human robot”.  Some females are taking to the modern mechanistic work-style like they are born for it.

Because of the nature of the robotic modern-style work, and the robotic female character, the female is probably going to become the human counterpart to the modern robotic-like system.  I can almost see a natural scenario taking place:  Have the robotic female character – the ‘modern human robot’ – work the robotic system and machines . . . a perfect blend of human and machine/system.  In other words, the female and machine/system make a good combination.  I fear this association will work abit too well and, in the end, do damage to the female.  I jokingly call this condition the ‘female-machine work-blend’.  The males, though, will struggle to find a place in this scenario.  Because of this, many males appear like they are just ‘drifting away’ from it all.  I jokingly call this the ‘male work-drift’.  This is basically the ‘male modern work dilemma’ I described above.

If the male drifts too far away it may reach the point that the male character will no longer be seen that much in the work environment.  This will leave the robotic system and robotic female as dominant.  As a result, the naturally appearing male traits (such as inventiveness, innovation, expansiveness, experimentation, creativity, etc.) will be seen less and less leading to a general static or stagnating condition.  Because this condition is rooted in a robotic-like nature I call this the ‘condition of robotic stagnation’.  In this condition, things keep running but its stagnate and unchanging.

One of the effects of the ‘condition of robotic stagnation’ is that it suffocates or stifles the male.  This has caused, in a way, a ‘hidden war’ that is taking place in the work environment nowadays:  robotic versus the dynamic.  The coming of the robotic-like modern-style work has caused a suppression of the dynamic which is squashing the males.  There are a number of reactions to this condition:

  • Its caused some males to go into the ‘male modern work dilemma’ (the work-drift).  I’m under the impression this is the most common direction taken.
  • It has caused some males to try to create a dynamic-like situation.  In other words, the ‘condition of robotic stagnation’ is stifling the male and, as a result, is ‘pushing’ some males to become even more dynamic.  This fact shows how the male character tends to despise static and stagnating conditions (such as how males hate monotonous work).

Because of this, I can see that the, for some males, there has become something like a “combat” with the ‘condition of robotic stagnation’ which has become characteristic of the modern work environment (machines, the robotic system, and female work).  I can even see this “combat” in myself, a continous battle in an ever present quest to find the dynamic.  Some of the ways this “combat” is done include:

  • Choosing a work form that satisfies this need.  Unfortunately, these jobs are few and far between giving minimal oppurtunity.  Often, they require a very strong and directed ambition, which many males no longer feel.
  • Making work satisifying by changing ones attitudes about it.  Interestingly, this seems to be the least effective.
  • Let the robotic work “just happen” but find some other activity to do “after work” that satisifies the dynamic need.  This seems the most common.

In other words, what we’re trying to do is to fit the work environment to our sexual work characteristics.  What this shows is how sexual character affects reactions to work conditions and how we need to have work match our sexual character.  Basically, the male and female need their corresponding sexual traits in the work environment.  If it is not there then it can create problems.  These problems can go so far that it can create personal problems, such as depression, feeling useless, etc.  In other words, I see a strong correlation between work, how it conforms to ones sexual character traits, and happiness.  To put it another way, ones sexual character traits play a far greater role in work, and happiness, than has been previously supposed.  This is so important that each sex tends to ‘force’ their work-style, based in their sexual character, in the work environment making it conform to their work-style.  If it isn’t there then work becomes ‘blank’, so to speak, and they tend to look elsewhere.  This shows the power, and importance, of the work-style of each sex.  One of the reasons why this is so important is that, really, “work is life”, its the “activity of life”.  Because of this, work must conform to ones life and who a person is.  Since sexual characteristics are so important, and play a major role in who we are, it naturally becomes a critical factor.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Historical stuff, Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Society, The 'system' and 'systemism', The male and female and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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