In the English language, the pairs man/woman and male/female both look as if one gender or sex was considered a special case for it is denoted by putting an arbitrary prefix (wo-, fe-) before the default case (man, male).
It has been asked before whether this is actually the case etymologically, and the answer was “partially” (woman < wif+man). However, since *werman or *wereman is antiquated, what possible substitutes are there for the pair man/woman or either part thereof when you want to distinguish by gender (so cannot use person, people or human) without the implied sexism of marked and unmarked words?
The ones I can think of as a non-native speaker are either too formal, like gent/lady, or too informal, e.g. guy/gal and lad/lass, or otherwise inadequate for the general case, e.g. boy/girl. Using a French loan word man/fem(me) or a contraction/neologism man/*wom is problematic because man is also still used in a generic sense (mankind etc.), which cannot be replaced by human easily.
Likewise, which alternatives are there for male/female used as either nouns or adjectives?
I would assume masculine/feminine was a possible and preferable alternative, though available as adjectives only. The contraction or neologism male/*fele shows nice symmetry, especially with man/*fem as introduced above, but it’s artificial, and so is *mascule/*femine.