June 3rd 2019 Torus Link Survey Responses

The following answers were collected on the date above via Survey Monkey. What would your answers be?

Q1: What do you think causes pain between men and women/non-binary people? (If at all?)

A1: Lack of understanding, hard to explain the differences in one’s experience without sounding accusatory (e.g. it’s hard for me to be friends with cis-hetero men because in my experience they are not satisfied by a purely platonic relationship with me and it causes problems in our friendship)
A2: Lack of empathy due to lack of emotional intelligence and good communication
A3: Misunderstanding
A4: Emotions
A5: Gender-specific socialization and lack of consistent social integration during formative years.
A6: Disagreement and sexism
A7: Misunderstandings, preconceived ideas of what men and women “should” be.
A8: Misunderstanding and misinterpretation
A9: Misunderstandings
A10: Miscommunication, though I would not say it is any worse than pain than between people of the same gender. I actually tend to get on better with the opposite gender.
A11: Ego

Q2: Agree or disagree— People are both masculine and feminine to varying degrees. (Please explain your answer!)

A1: Agree. Though I think it’s difficult to suss out what is masculine versus what is feminine without relying on troubling gender roles. Are women inherently nurturing, or is it merely a societal expectation? There are plenty of men who are nurturing, does that make them a feminine man? I don’t have the answers.
A2: I agree masculine and feminine is a spectrum and you can position yourself where you feel comfortable and confident in yourself.
A3: Agree, except I would say the masculine and feminine aspects that we see as either male or female are intrinsic to human nature but as a society, we put a “lens” of male if you’re strong and “female” if you are compassionate. Balance is the key and does not diminish your gender at all.
A4: Agree because these concepts are social constructs
A5: Agree. It’s my belief that people are unique and social sex identification puts restrictions on what is appropriate behavior based on physical sex and/or expressed genitalia. Masculine and feminine are largely social constructs, and therefore do not necessarily accurately contain the depth and breadth of an individual’s identity.
A6: Agree ie. “Tomboy style” and hairstyles
A7: Yes! It’s such a social construct for things to be “male” and “female.” As a female-identifying person, I don’t get grief for wearing nail polish and dresses, vs wearing pants and baseball hats. Sadly men don’t always have that flexibility for fear of social misunderstandings.
A8: Agree. There are feminine qualities and masculine qualities different people exhibit different levels of both traits
A9: Yes. But also femininity and masculinity are social constructions and some things may be considered masculine to others which arent to some etc.
A10: Agree. There are masculine and feminine traits, most have a mix. Genetics plus society equals diversity!
A11: Yes

Q3: Agree or disagree— feelings are a predominantly feminine aspect of human nature. (Please explain your answer!)

A1: I think women are allowed to be emotional and expected to be, but feelings are a human trait. Even people (mostly men, let’s be real) who claim they make logic based decisions merely don’t acknowledge that their decisions are in fact emotion based. Toxic Masculinity preaches that feelings=weakness and manliness=strength, so “real men” can’t have feelings. So I guess I disagree that feelings are feminine, but agree that we are taught that feelings are feminine.
A2: I disagree. I think culturally this has been a very emphasized aspect of the feminine, such as racefulness, beauty. Hehe are strongly connect because of our culture, but they are not inherently feminine.
A3: Disagree, society places a feminine aspect of having feelings but it’s actually harmful for people to repress their feelings if they are trying to fulfill a “strong” role for the sake of appearing normal within their societal boundaries.
A4: Disagree. Society just reinforces that women should be more in touch with their feelings.
A5: Disagree. Everyone has feelings. Again, social pressures/norms convince people they are/aren’t allowed to express those feelings, but they exist nonetheless.
A6: Feelings and emotions are more feminine because it’s considered “manly” to not feel emotions
A7: Heck no! Feelings are human, not gendered! It sucks that many male-identifying people are raised to not emote and express feelings.
A8: Depends on which feelings we’re talking about. Anger is interpreted as a masculine emotion while Sadness would be interpreted as feminine
A9: No. They have just been taught that way. Women have a more emotional connectiom probably through evolution and caring children in them but everyone has the emotional capacity
A10: Women are biologically and socially conditioned to be more empathetic (nurturing, childcare, mothering). That said men can be just as emotional but are not encouraged to express it as much / hence the higher suicide rate in men
A11: Disagree

Q4:Agree or disagree— traditionally, it has been considered weak to show feelings of sadness or despair, BECAUSE it is considered more feminine. (Please explain your answer!)

A1: Agree! See above haha
A2: Yes, I agree is has been considered showing weaknesses because it is a feminie trair, AND culturally we associate feminine with weakness.
A3: Agree; and I wonder if this is largely due to the many wars in history where men have largely fulfilled the role of soldier. Having a strong feeling in battle could get you or your unit killed, so the idea of being strong is turning off those feelings to get the job done. But then afterwards, these vets have always had trauma that goes unproved or untreated because they are still required to fulfill that role of being strong.
A4: Agree. Toxic masculinity and the concept of what it is to be masculine prohibits feelings
A5: Agree. Female-expressing persons are expected to show weakness, not only in juxtaposition to make-expressing persons, but also in attempt to appear weak and vulnerable to attract “masculine” protectors.
A6: Agree if a man dropped in axe on their foot while cutting wood and started crying, even though they were doing something manly even though the crying is from pain it’s considered feminine because it’s showing some sort of emotion or feeling
A7: I agree that while it is a traditional notion, I disagree with it! I think everyone should be able to express themselves how they want to. Also, saying its weak to show emotions as being feminine implies that being feminine is bad somehow. Not that YOU, this survey writer, are doing so, but that many people feel that way.
A8: Agreed. Masculine is more aligned to being confident and unwavering i suppose
A9: Yes. Traditionally. Because emotions get in the way of logic. And stereotypes have been shifted weak and emotional for women and strong and impenetrable for men.
A10: Agree traditionally though this has changed drastically in the last 30 years or so. It also is not like that in every culture. For example, while in the West we may think of the “strict” father, in China there are more stereotypically strong and strict “Tiger Moms”.
A11: Disagree

Q5: Agree or disagree— the most ADMIRABLE way to get what you want is doing so independently of anyone’s help. (Please explain your answer!)

A1: Disagree. It is admirable to be self-reliant, but it’s juat as admirable to know when you’re in over your head and ask for help. There is no shame in needing assistance, and being too proud to ask for help is decidedly not admirable.
A2: Not at all. Collaborating , in my opinion, shows more skill and ibteligence, and can get more rewards for the same amount of work, so it is also more eficie t, therefore, a clever and admirable way to work.
A3: Disagree. It’s ok to ask for help, albeit difficult. Again, I believe this is a societal role where we have to achieve unreal expectations just to scrape by. Testing beginning in kindergarten teaches kids they have to jump through hoops to achieve success instead of putting in the time and hands on learning to slowly develop unique skills. I also think this leads us to forsake humility for status and asking for help denotes that there is something wrong or weak about you.
A4: Disagree, it sounds cooler but in reality, we all need help and getting over one’s self to seek help takes quite a bit and rewards a bit easier than doing it alone
A5: Disagree. While it’s admirable to accomplish something on one’s own, it can also be inexpressibly difficult and admirable to ask for help, especially when we’ve been trained not to as it’s considered weak.
A6: Disagree the most admirable way of getting something done is predominantly partnership
A7: Disagree. While I am fiercely independent in my day-to-day life by virtue of living alone, I think its admirable to do things in a group, or even ask for help if needed. It’s not weakness, sometimes its necessity.
A8: Very admirable but also lonely
A9: Disagree. I think it is IMPRESSIVE to be able to do things without help but only if its unavalable. I think its ignorant to avoid help for pride
A10: Everything starts with help. How did you manage to GET independent? Who taught you those traits, who inspired you? Who gave you critical thinking skills. Someone helped you once. That said, it is good to strive to be independent and a problem-solver. Not a fan of heavy reliance on anything.
A11: Agree

Q6:Agree or disagree— if you’re not doing what you want in life, it’s your own fault. (Please explain your answer!)

A1: Disagree. There are a lot of obstacles to doing what you want that you have no control over. But when it comes to simple things (learning a new language, starting that novel, etc), that is when you have no one else to blame. You just have to start.
A2: I agree, partially. Most people do have the habit of leaving their choices in the hands of date and others, and I feel like in my own privileged situation that is completely giving up your power to do what you want from your life. I believe we have way more power than we believe (and are taught to believe!) However, we cannot deny the situation do many people are right now with little to no choice because they lack the knowledge and opportunity to even realize fate is at their hands. We mix up whst is in our control, such as our actions, with what is not, such as other people’s actions and feelings.
A3: Both; I believe we are responsible for every choice we make and that we have the free will to make any choice but there are also circumstances that force us out of survival to make choices that we probably would not make otherwise. I believe that if you stay in a situation where you are miserable and do nothing to change it, then it is a direct result of your choice to do nothing, you have accepted your fate while hating it. But if you do everything thing you can, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to change your outcome, then I believe eventually your life will change for the better.
A4: Disagree, sometimes circumstances dictate that you can’t do what you want YET however you should always work towards your goal even if you’re doing something else
A5: Agree and disagree. Apathy and/or lack of ambition is within an individual’s control, but lifelong circumstance, luck, and access may not be.
A6: Highly disagree because from birth you could have been pleased with many obstacles like negative relationships with your parents or poverty or anything so it is not your fault if you are not doing what you want in life
A7: Disagree! There are a lot of factors in not being able to “do what you want.” Some days I’d love to just vanish into the woods and live as a hermit, but as a woman that’s far too dangerous. If we’re talking small scale, like today I want to spend all day drawing instead of going to work, sure that sucks, but one can always make time for projects at a different time!
A8: To an extent yes but also there are many aspects we can’t control. Like being born into poverty (less opportunities) or being born into wealth (more opportunities)
A9: Neither. I think you can do a variation of what you want at your will yes, but to get exactly what you want is out of your hands.
A10: To an extent. It depends which situation you are born into. If you are born into a prison your options are different to those of a rich wealthy kid. That said, if we have the ability and the means, we should strive to balance our health and our needs with things that make us happy. This includes taking risks.
A11: Disagree

Q7: Agree or disagree— people are naturally inclined to give you understanding for your differences, your painful situations, and your mistakes. (Please explain your answer!)

A1: Agree. I believe people are inherently sympathetic. Everyone has made mistakes, and I think people want to forgive that because they themselves want forgiveness for their own mistakes.
A2: Not sure here. Seem some material attesting we are naturally born empathetic creatures, but I think this is also the question of nature versus nurture. I do believe, however, no one willing desire to hurt other without a purpose, and nobody does bad believing they’re doing bad. It’s a matter of perspective that makes people commit terrible acts believing it’s the right thing to do.
A3: I would say more often than not people do this out of human nature, compassion and empathy. While these things need to be taught and cultivated from childhood, most people have a compassionate side naturally. I think that life circumstances may make some people’s responses and levels of empathy much lower and I do believe there are people who lack the necessary hormones and brain development to experience empathy.
A4: Disagree. Society has become so distorted that people aren’t generally understanding. We’re taught to judge first and understand later
A5: Disagree. Natural inclination to me means anyone, from any background. But in my experience, humans tend to only empathize when they’ve experienced similar circumstances. If someone is different, or has vastly different experiences, outside opinion rarely lines up. We fear what we don’t understand.
A6: Disagree people can be jerks sometimes and shun upon what you find painful
A7: I personally agree with this, because I’ve been kind of training myself to not go with my knee-jerk reaction to things. If someone is rude to me in public, I try not to go with my first thought of “wow that person sucks” and go with “I don’t know what’s going on in their life. Maybe they’re having a bad day. I’ll probably never see them again so no use getting mad about a stranger.” Trust me, its an uphill battle, and I don’t think many other people consider that mindset.
A8: No people all experience the world differently and interpret it in a different perspective. Understanding is never promised nor guaranteed
A9: No. Not sure why. But many people like to isolate differences becaause its not their norm or what theyre used to
A10: Heavy disagree. While people will be understanding if they get to know you and like you, they will probably be wary if you lead with your problems. People are more forgiving of things when they like you (this is how celebrities get away with crazy stuff) so make sure to get to know someone first. Some people also (who do not have much pain) get overwhelmed at first and do not know how to respond well… so it takes time. It’s possible but I don’t think people are naturally inclined to be understanding, even if they have the ability to be empathetic.
A11: Disagree

Q8: What would you say gives us the most power to do what we want? And why, if at all, is this difficult to obtain?

A1: It’s hard to say. I guess the force of will not to give up. It’s difficult to obtain because it’s difficult to sustain motivation for as long as it takes to achieve your goal, especially if there are a lot of setbacks.
A2: Self awareness, a beautiful brain that can analise things in advance, learn with others and be aware even of our own thoughts. How amazing is that?? Everybody has one of those beautiful thinking, dreamsing machines.
A3: Free will and it’s hard to do this because from birth we are taught how to live within boundaries, which is good in my opinion because we would have chaos without societal boundaries. But I believe that different aspects of these boundaries make choices that we would take more difficult because as a society we need normality, thinking out of the box is risky behavior. On a primitive level, this would increase your chances of not surviving if you went out on your own. I think it’s these innate survival drives that keep us from seeking our highest potential, because it’s risky and most people don’t like risk.
A4: The power to do what we want comes from drive but that drive is hard to obtain because life has a tendency of not always going how we want and/or things along the way to that can be discouraging and disheartening
A5: Money and connection. Money begets money, and the less shared, the more retained, so as generations progress, capital and social/political power are amassed among the few.
A6: what gives you the most power to do what you want is motivation and that can be difficult to obtain because if people are just constantly putting you down then it’s so hard to motivate yourself
A7: For me, the what would be the support of my peers and family. I can grow to be my best self because they won’t judge me, or they’ll support me. I was able to do some crazy moves around the country after college because my family supported me. I think this can be difficult to obtain if you don’t believe in yourself, or you don’t see the belief others have in you. Finding a core friend-family is super important too!
A8: Intelligence and awareness. Seeing the hidden patterns of life and maneuvering them to work in your favor is an important trait
A9: Its drive. And drive is hard to maintain when theres a lack of positive response, but sometimes we need to provide our own positiviy to continue
A10: Discipline and flexibility. Passion is great and having a dream is great. But discipline – to work, to sit down, to be consistent – even if it is boring or lonely or soul destroying to fail – that is power. Real success if to keep going even when and if you fail. To learn and adapt.
A11: Motivation