(男) stands for man. This character again consists of two more characters. The character in the upper part, 田, means field, the lower part, 力, means strength. Men are supposed to be strong, and work in the field. This is how the classic “Explaining Simple and Analyzing Compound Characters” describes it. In ancient China it was said: “Men rule the affairs on the outside”, therefore farming, war, fighting, being an official, and conducting business were all affairs of the men. A man is first the son of his parents; then when he gets married, the husband of his wife, and when they have children, the father of his children.
(女) stands for woman. All characters with 女 have something to do with a woman, such as 妻 (wife), 妇 (housewife) and 媽 (mother). The upper part of 妻 (wife) is a broom, and the lower 女 , for “female” or “woman”. Women in China took care of the affairs in the household, such as cooking, cleaning, and sewing.