Female/Male is the Yin/Yang of the West. The Tao Te Ching includes a system of description that is basically the binary number system endowed with the meanings of Yin (0) Yang (1), mingling, so “100” is “Yang, Yin, Yin” and has certain intuitive meaning.
The Western Female/Male shows how reducing the world to binary fails: take the terms Manly Female (10), Womanly Female(00), Manly Man(11), Womanly Man (01). And then: Girlish Manly Female (010), Girlish Womanly Female, Girlish Manly Man, Girlish Womanly Man, etc.
What I want to show is how more and more people fall through the cracks as the system becomes more exhaustive. When you get to three digit precision, most people wont identify with any of the terms like “Girlish Manly Female,” etc.
So exhaustive language, precise language, cuts out more and more of reality as “off topic” and people who are too sensitive about what is or isn’t relevant become debilitated when trying to make connections or make sense of the senses (including the sensation of ideas by the mind).
The debilitation of the mind, and the way precision language makes people fall through the cracks of technical terminology (diagnoses, identities, etc) are precisely why they are uplifted by the powerful oligarchs of the USA. Precision language is in no way superior to everyday, or poetic language, except that if you show yourself as someone who follows the rules of mathematics (equivalent to “understanding” “accepting” the rules of mathematics) you’ll get funding, or get published, or pass whatever gate you are trying to pass. It doesn’t really matter what the term “micronutrients” means, what matters is that it is very precise, and by being hypnotized by it, you cut out the rest of the world from view.
The liberal dream of inclusiveness can’t be achieved by a process of refinement of language or symbols, quite the opposite is achieved. The functional use of words is to reduce people’s desire for worldly things, by turning the things into concepts first. Bertrand Russell said that knowing the origin of the word for a fruit increases his enjoyment of the fruit. He is mistaken. The enjoyment he feels comes from removing the enjoyment of the fruit, and replacing it with a different enjoyment of the knowledge of words, which is less visceral, and easier to let go of. This is the way that words are beneficial and useful. If you want to enjoy a person, you suspend judgement in terms of concepts and practices. You suspend the need to know facts that can be expressed with words. In the same sense, as Feyerabend mentions, of the ancient belief that counting people endangers them.
People often find friendship nowadays by feeling that their friend knows the same things he knows. It is a measure of the persons integrity and worth as a person that they have faithfully studied science fiction or some other part of culture. Unfortunately this form of love and companionship is much less than the enjoyment of a person you can have when you don’t need to know that they know the same things. Reviewing shared knowledge of concepts is a way of reducing a felt bond with a person, not increasing it. In a way, we are all going to die, so this pessimistic approach to relationships might be ultimately the right way to go. We are all subject to separation in this world, but that does not mean we shouldn’t fight against this tendency. Success as a human family is not measured by our knowledge of one another, quite the opposite.
The value of the intuitive feelings about Yin and Yang are that they are expansive in an ineffable way, so that they reach the irrational by including each other, and everything else. Male and Female may be able to join in sex. Sex is the kind of irrational and mystical union that we can know the most about. Knowing is at best unimportant, when it comes to irrational wisdom and mystical union. More likely, knowing with concepts and names is destructive to union between man, woman, black, white, gay, straight, etc
Our union is not found in the cracks between these concepts, it is found in the space that makes the view of concepts and their boundaries possible.