Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient China?

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caonima
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Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient China?

Post by caonima » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:12 pm

I was told that yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient China. Is that true and what's the meaning of that?

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Arising_uk
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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:11 am

No and there is no meaning in that.

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avianaL
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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by avianaL » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:31 am

Arising_uk wrote:No and there is no meaning in that.
Oh really????
What I've read says (Yin-Yang) represents the ancient Chinese understanding of how things work. The outer circle represents "everything", while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies, called "yin" (black) and "yang" (white), which cause everything to happen. They are not completely black or white, just as things in life are not completely black or white, and they cannot exist without each other.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by Arising_uk » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:22 pm

And you find an Ancient Chinese gender philosophy in that idea where?

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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by RickLewis » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:04 pm

From my vague recollection of an evening course which Anja once taught (and which I attended) at City University in London, I think the yin and yang is originally a concept from Daoism. The idea of the yin-yang symbol is that even in a pair of opposites, each side of the pair includes the seed of the other side. That's why each of the little curly shapes in the yin-yang symbol contains a dot of the other colour.

In Daoist wiritngs, yin and yang are applied to a wide range of such pairs of opposites including feminine/masculine. I just found a table listing some of them on this web page here:

http://www.thetao.info/tao/yinyang.htm

That page also shows what I mean about the two symbols.

I suppose the application to gender philosophy would be the idea that even the completely masculine contains a seed of the feminine, and vice versa. But I'm sure there is much more to it than that.

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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by chaz wyman » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:28 am

Although my understanding of Taoist thought is not great, it seems to me that according to Taoism the yin and yang represent the fundamental oppositional forces at work in the universe. They can offer an understanding of gender of all sorts, as they might help elucidate the concepts of wet/dry, good,/evil, up/down black/white, and a whole host of other complimentary/oppositional forces and ideas.

Thus whilst gender can be seen as an outward expression of yin and yang it would be a mistake and a misrepresentation to simply conflate it with gender as if our understanding of gender were no different from the underlying notion of yin/yang that the Tao would choose to study that way.
Simply saying that feminist studies were somehow equivalent to eastern thought would do worse than put the cart before the horse. It would not only render the Tao meaningless, but would fail to grasps how these concepts are used in the Taoist philosophies.

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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by The Voice of Time » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:49 pm

Yin and Yang are strongly gender-reliant and sexual symbols I tell you, when used as such symbols of course, as they were like two words with an infinity of meanings.

There should be loads of books on the subjects. Yin representing femininity and Yang representing masculinity. Yin would be said to have certain characteristics, which could be used to tell if a woman was in balance with according to her Yang, her man, who also had certain characteristics. However, Yin and Yang could also be within the same person.

I once read a text on it, I think it was this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoist_sexual_practices

"Joining of the essences" refers to Yin and Yang of course. there were all these obscure beliefs about semen and vaginas, beliefs which deserve to be compared to mythology if you ask me.

the Taoists had these beliefs in eternity and immortality, and Yin and Yang probably played major roles in defining the "proper", or immortality-oriented, way of co-interaction between the genders, both officially, privately, sexually, when in office, in the master-slave/master-subject dichotomy, etc.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by Arising_uk » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:24 am

Which pretty much makes it not a gender-based philosophy but a philosophy of balance or harmony.

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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by The Voice of Time » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:40 pm

Arising_uk wrote:Which pretty much makes it not a gender-based philosophy but a philosophy of balance or harmony.
wrong. Since Yin and Yang can be ascribed gender-qualities the philosophy as a whole does bear strong gender-oriented meanings.

For instance Yin would be associated with weakness, because women are generally weaker than men in muscle-power, and (some people believed old-days) mind-capacity. Because of this, they would apply the quality of Yin to things resemblant of weakness compared to a counter-part Yang.

Gender has a lot to do with it I tell you.

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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by chaz wyman » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:33 pm

The Voice of Time wrote:
Arising_uk wrote:Which pretty much makes it not a gender-based philosophy but a philosophy of balance or harmony.
wrong. Since Yin and Yang can be ascribed gender-qualities the philosophy as a whole does bear strong gender-oriented meanings.

For instance Yin would be associated with weakness, because women are generally weaker than men in muscle-power, and (some people believed old-days) mind-capacity. Because of this, they would apply the quality of Yin to things resemblant of weakness compared to a counter-part Yang.

Gender has a lot to do with it I tell you.
You have it backwards. It is not that gender is ascribed yin/yang qualities.
Yin/Yang is an underlying principle, to which any kind of dichotomy may be attached, and thus understood.
Yin/yang is not the gender philosophy of China; gender is understood as one example of yin/yang.

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The Voice of Time
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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by The Voice of Time » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:21 pm

My point was not actually that it was either a gender-philosophy or a non-gender philosophy, my point was that it was a philosophy with heavy gender-oriented influences, especially when practised. And saying either/or will both be wrong, because it's kind of in-between, a little gender-philosophy into a grander philosophy, into the dichotomy.

But gender can also be argued. If you know German, Dutch, or Norwegian which is my language, we have genders applied to nouns and separates between female and male words. It would make no sense not calling this a gender-oriented language, and if you can somehow transported this to philosophy you'll see that Yin and Yang ascribes the gender-qualities to the dichotomies they describe because of the association with a previous usage of the dichotomy that way. Remember Taoism is actually a religion, and you have to think like a religious person if you want to understand its origin, and religious people don't see this as "logic" dichotomies, it is personal, and it is bound by association rather than logic.

This means that one with an inclination to gender roles or sexuality will empathize these in his/hers interpretation of the religious philosophy. To them they may see males and females everywhere, because there are no logical rules strictly reducing the Yin-Yang application. To them a yellow flower can be, like in Germanic-Latin languages gender dichotomy, a "female", and a blue flower a "male, but it doesn't have to do with any "real" logically restricted genders.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:00 pm

And such confusion is, in my opinion, why English(a mix of Saxon and French) pretty much dropped the assigning of gender to inanimate objects, or at least kept the Germanic neuter for all of them, thank 'God'. :)

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The Voice of Time
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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by The Voice of Time » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:40 pm

Arising_uk wrote:And such confusion is, in my opinion, why English(a mix of Saxon and French) pretty much dropped the assigning of gender to inanimate objects, or at least kept the Germanic neuter for all of them, thank 'God'. :)
you got a fucked up alphabet and large parts of unpronounced vowels in turn.

Example 1) the word "bought" using the norwegian alphabet would be written "båt", where "b" is itself, "å" is a specific use of the letter "a" in english (english has multiple pronunciations of their first letter, all of which are different, while norwegian skips more straight to the logic "1 letter = 1 pronunciation"), and "t" is itself. The word has 6 letters to pronounce 3, that's fucked up.

You should all adopt the Norwegian alphabet, and then add all missing pronunciations as new letters ^^

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Arising_uk
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Re: Yin and yang are the gender philosophy of the Ancient Ch

Post by Arising_uk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:48 am

You'll get no argument from me! :)

But your solution appears to make writing more difficult with all those qualifying symbols above your letters.

One great aspect of English compared to many other languages is that you can mangle it badly in speech and it still makes sense, e.g. unlike French, if you mispronounce the hearer in general won't claim incomprehension. :?

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