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Man vs Bear: Why Do People Keep Choosing the Bear?

The viral TikTok hypothetical, man vs. bear, that has produced an overwhelming response to the bear, leaving people to wonder why people choose a wild animal?

A picture of a big brown grizzly bear

A viral TikTok video sparked a debate across the internet: Would you rather be alone in the woods with a bear or a man? Overwhelming support came in for the bear, but why would people rather be with a wild animal than a fellow human?

History of the debate

If you have been online in the past couple of weeks, you probably have seen someone ask, “Would you rather encounter a bear or a man if you were alone in the woods?” There have been a wide range of takes on this debate.

So, where did this all begin?

On March 12th, TikToker @callmebk, who teaches anti-misogyny, content posted a reply video about misandry. At the end of the video, BK claimed that for a woman alone in the woods, it would be ten times scarier to see a man than a bear.

@callmebkbk

Replying to @user2828263738

♬ original sound – call me bk
TikTok/@callmebkbk

Following the claim by BK, the hypothetical question formed and began to spread across TikTok. A viral TikTok from Screenshot HQ gained the most traction, currently with over 18 million views. Interviewing people on whether they would choose to be alone with a bear or a man, only one out of eight interviewees chose a man over a bear. Some of those who were interviewed offered their reasons as to why they made their choices.

“Men are scary,” the first interviewee said.

“A hundred percent a bear, which is terrifying to say, but,” another said.

“Definitely a bear. Some men are very scary out there,” one woman said.

It was immediately clear that the debate would become divisive between the genders, but there was a clear majority. The bear was winning by an overwhelming amount.

@screenshothq

The question of being stuck in a forest with a man or a bear is circulating on TikTok right now and sparking some interesting conversation…. we know what our answer would be 🐻🌳 #manvsbear #tiktok #tiktoktrend #trending #challenge #streetinterview #voxpop

♬ Terror Music (Scary Song) – IMPERIUM RECORDS
TikTok/@ScreenshotHQ

Why do we choose the bear?

The majority of people are taking sides with the bear in this debate. It begs the question, why do people continuously side with a bear rather than their fellow human? Those who choose the bear seem to primarily identify as women however, some men have also sided with the animal.

Many bear supporters point to the statistics of violence against women by men. According to UN Women, 26% of women, 15 or older, have faced intimate partner violence. UN Women also reports that intimate partners or family members commit an overwhelming 55% of female homicides.

TikToker Lisa P shared her reasoning in a video on TikTok that has garnered over 300k views. She explains in the video the reason she provided to her husband was that “a bear doesn’t hate people the same way men hate women” and that the bear would give her dignity in death over a man who “wants to take his time”.

@itsme_lisap

Hope this clears things up because a lot of men seem to still be, scratching their heads on this one #manorbear #men #tiktokviral #momsoftiktok #toxicmasculinity

♬ original sound – Lisa P
TikTok/@itsme_lisap

Her viewers shared similar sentiments. In the comments, many shared their heartbreaking reasons for choosing a bear. “A lot of us would walk into the woods and choose the bear, because at least if they leave scars people will believe us,” @sarah.catherine91 wrote.

However, some have also chosen to side with being alone with a man over a bear.

What about those who choose a man?

Although the vast majority online seems to have chosen the bear, others have also picked the man and provided their reasons. The debate has some starting to wonder if this is demonizing men.

On the Reddit thread r/TrueUnpopular Opinion, user Sanbaddy says that the hypothetical is misandrist. “There was a much better way of making a point about sexual assault without attacking someone.”

Sanbaddy is not alone in this sentiment either. There were comments beneath the post agreeing.

Others who choose the man have also argued that bears cannot have rational thoughts like a man. There have also been claims that the question is a false equivalence.

Some also speculate there were better ways to treat the topic of sexual assault.

However, almost everyone in the debate seems to agree that the amount of people choosing the bear reveals something terrifying about society.

What does this hypothetical tell us?

As entertaining as memes can be, this debate raises serious concerns. Beyond snarky comments or funny videos, online graphic videos of bear attacks have surfaced as well as crime cases, and many survivors are sharing their stories.

Even outside the woods, it is no secret the world is a scary place for women. Whether on the streets of a city, in a crowded mall, or on the subway, they need to find ways to stay safe. This hypothetical question has given way to a need for action. How do we become part of a greater solution to ending sexual assault?

One part of the solution we have already begun to see. Survivors have been sharing their stories as they weighed in on the debate. Listening to them is an extremely vital starting point. The next step is beginning to advocate for change. This has been most notable as people protest political change, but it can start small too. Start within your community. Be open to difficult conversations and make a safe environment for people to speak up.

In recent years people have witnessed several protests led by women to try and garner change. Two of the most notable protests were the #MeToo movement and protests over the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs Wade.

It’s also important to know how to be safe. Here are some important tips to follow.

Staying safe

According to PalAmerican, there are a few tips for staying safe in public.

One tip is to have a plan when you go out. If you plan to go out, know where you are going and be aware of your surroundings. When going out alone, make your location known to friends. Have a Life360 group with your pals, or drop your location in the group chat.

There are also tools of self-defense that can be purchased, like pepper spray or small alarms you can pull.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers twenty-four-seven support for those who call. The number is 800-799-7233. Another hotline for support is the Women in Distress hotline. which also provides twenty-four-hour support for survivors. This hotline can be reached at 954-761-1133.

Another is to plan by taking a self-defense class in case you ever find yourself to be in danger. Many martial arts locations offer lessons. Look online for a class in your local area.

A good motto is always to be aware, stay prepared, and remain safe.

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Written By

Hello! I'm Graci. I love writing, reading, listening to a variety of music, and any cute or strange-looking animal. Currently pursuing my BFA in Creative and Professional Writing.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. DearTheodosia

    May 22, 2024 at 11:48 pm

    This is an amazing first article! I love that you made sure to tell everyone how to stay safe in this scary world. Keep it up!

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