If men stopped working…the world would continue on.

If women stopped working, then things would get ugly.


there has been an instance where this happened.
it was 1975 and icelandic women decided not to work for one day. 

working as in cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, doing chores and so on, not only “not showing up to your workplace”. women did nothing that day, except showing up in reykjavik and protesting for gender equality, equal pay and equal representation in parliament, you know, cool stuff. 

you know what happened? havoc. men were left with food to cook and children they never took care of to pick up from kindergarden and entertain for the day. they went en masse to the food shops buying sausages because they could cook nothing else, they had to bond with children they never spent more than a couple hours a day with. they struggled combining their work day and the domestic tasks they had to sort out. and this just for one day.

iceland in 1975 stopped working and things indeed got ugly.
so ugly that women in the following decades became woke AF and soon it happened that women became president, took half of the seats in parliament and achieved one of the best living environments in the world.

is your astonishment solved now?

We already know what happens to countries when the majority of the male workforce is removed. It is called “war.”

If you want to read Highly Documented and Very Historical accounts of how countries function without internal male labor, you can start by diving in to World War 1 and World War 2! (I’m just gonna talk about the Allied forces because my English is best
and I know the most about them, but the Axis powers had similar

See, when the warring civilizations threw every able-bodied man they could at war fronts all over the planet, this left enormous labor vacuums. Not only did the countries have to function without male labor, but they also had to funnel vast amounts of food, clothing, ammunition and weapons to the men in combat. By WW2, women were needed in every possible role that didn’t include active combat.

If you send millions of men to combat, then the resulting millions of empty, necessary, “male” jobs must be done by women. That’s just how it works.

This is an British WW1 poster from 1917. It says it succinctly – every woman who takes a “male” job in the military, frees up that man for active combat.

One thing that you can’t get enough of in war is bullets! With men spending bullets but not making them, the women need to do it. These WW1 posters from around 1918 are pretty cool – the woman “doing her bit” has shades of Art Nouveau, I think.

Here’s an American WW1 poster in which the women are dressed as mechanics, train drivers, military support, manufacturers, farmers and nurses. I like the cool Victorian shoes and the baggy trousers. Isn’t it funny to think that this happened between the Victorians and the flappers?

In WW1, you couldn’t even afford to spare able-bodied men to drive ambulances in warzones. Ambulance drivers on the Front were largely women. They picked up the wounded and dying men and took them to field hospitals staffed largely by women.

By WW2, the women of the Allied nations were SO ON TOP OF THIS.

Here is a Canadian lady from the 1940s. Women in Air Force support were vital – men were the fighter pilots, women were transport pilots – as well as doing the support roles like aircraft maintenance and preparation, parachute packing, communications and intelligence, managing the radar, plotting the weather, and, of course, doing the catering. The language on this poster shows that the woman does all of this necessary work to get the fighter pilots in the air. Every non-combat military job that a woman took meant one more fighter pilot and soldier in active combat.

Back at home, people functioned fairly well without men in WW2. Everyone’s seen this American WW2 poster, you know she’s encouraging women to get into the factories and make All The Stuff!




Land Armies (staffed by Land Girls) were super necessary to feed everyone at home PLUS everyone at war. Land Girls were used in both WW1 and WW2. While farming was a “protected occupation” (male farmers wouldn’t be forcibly drafted into the military, because their jobs were too important to a functioning society) the majority male farmworkers decided to enlist voluntarily. This left  elderly or disabled male farmworkers to do intensive work. By WW2 they had some tractors to help, but most farming was still done by hand or with draft animals, especially since the steel and fuel for the tractors was more needed on the Front.

This American lady found a cool old-timey tractor, which is just as good as an ambulance…

But this British lady has to do her plowing with a draft horse! The weathered old farmer, too old for combat, is very grateful.


okay but LOOK at some of these other Plushy Man Jobs, Necessary To Prevent the Downfall of Society, that American women needed to do RIGHT NOW TO BEAT THE NAZIS:




Oddly, even without men at work, “women’s work” still got done.
Children were still mostly looked after. Large communal childcare programs were set up (they were quickly closed after WW2, though.) Food was prepared. Households
ran. Single women stayed single. The countries functioned. The world still turned. MILLIONS OF MEN
were WIPED OFF THE PLANET but the world still turned.

In fact, the Allies won both WW1 and WW2.

And the resulting power/gender/employment vacuums shaped the gender dynamics of most of Tumblr’s parents and grandparents.

How quickly did everyone forget all that?

I just wanted to add a bit because something about this bugged me but I couldn’t quite get what it was.

I found it difficult to find the numbers on all of this, so do check my sources and everything because I may have made a mistake.

In 1939 the UK population was 47,760,000 (x,x). I was unable to find the distribution of men and women at that time so I used the modern one, which is 97 men for every 100 women (x). So I divided the population up to get 23,516,345 men and 24,243,655 women.

There were 3.5 million people who served in the British Army at some point during the war (x), for the purposes of this I’m going to presume they were all men and were all serving at the same time. That means that 6.7% of the male population were away at war.

So to me it doesn’t look like the second world war was an example of how the UK functioned without men, I do think that a lot of women joined the workforce and had to step up to replace the men that weren’t there, and I also think they did a brilliant job, and were really essential to the working of the country. But yeah, that’s my addition, the numbers are approximations and I may have made mistakes in calculation, if so please do point them out.

Reblogging for lovely stats!

I think if we start talking about numbers in this way (and we totally should) we have to start talking about what “men” are. Are “men” of working age? Must they be able-bodied or able to “work”? Because your “6.7% of the male population being away at war” literally counts newborns on the tit and elderly men in wheelchairs as combat fighters, which certainly includes the element of surprise.

Are we talking literally all the male humans, who are about half the population, but who include newborn babies/young boys/disabled/terminally ill/elderly men? Because in that case, most of them don’t work because they just don’t. And I’m talking about male labor and the male workforce, not the literal existence of All Men Ever.

See, I think the OP, when saying “If men stopped working…” meant “working men,” i.e. the men of the labor force, who are not the entire population. I don’t think OP was saying “if two-year-old boy children, young students, retired men, and men who cannot work, stopped working…” because those men do not “work” in the capitalist labor-for-money sense of the word. If OP was, then I misunderstood and am happy to take responsibility, though that would change EVERYTHING, because all men do not work.

Right now the population of the UK is roughly 60 million, of which about 38 million is the working population, of which more than half are likely to be men (as men’s working age is higher) so we’d have to go find those numbers for the years of WW2 to find out how many “working men” there were.


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