50 girls at State High were asked if they would rather be stuck in the woods with a man or a bear. Survey conducted by Nubah.
50 girls at State High were asked if they would rather be stuck in the woods with a man or a bear. Survey conducted by Nubah.

A Question That Took Over The Internet: Man or Bear?

Recently, a question has taken over the internet and really caused people to sit down and think. The question is as follows: “Would you rather be stuck in a forest with a bear or a man?”

At first, it may sound unreasonable and one might see a very obvious answer. However, one must observe what the question really is asking. This question has brought people, especially women, to speak about their experiences regarding assault. Ranging from sexual assault, to domestic abuse, to stalking instances, to rape, and other horrifying experiences that women have to go through due to lack of ensured safety. 

Since 1784 there have been 180 fatal bear attacks on humans in North America. However, in 2022 alone there were 15,094 recorded male murders in the US. So, one is more likely to get killed by a man than a bear. Why wouldn’t it be sensible to pick bears? 

Moreover, 99% of those who commit acts of sexual violence are men. On the other hand, there have been no reported acts of sexual violence committed by a bear on a human being. It may come off as exaggerated or even pathetic to choose a bear. However, to women it is extremely plausible.

Women from all over social media have spoken up about their traumatic experiences from the past caused by men in their lives. 

Akasha Danielle, @akasha_danielle on TikTok, posted a video speaking up about her experiences and being a survivor of sexual violence. “The bear wouldn’t beg me to do stuff until I said yes in tears or get mad and ignore me when I said no. The bear wouldn’t tell me to fix my makeup so I look better while committing their ‘manly instincts’ on me.”

Yes, it is very possible that if a bear was to harm a human, it would not stop even after it was told ‘No’. However, a man knows the meaning of the word ‘No’ and what it entails, a bear does not. Now one can start observing the multitude of layers that are beneath this question. 

The principle of the situation and the long history of tendencies that can be seen in men — not stopping after being told ‘No’, desperation, lust, violence, and manipulation — is really what is making women choose a bear over a man.

It is also a commonly known fact that black and grizzly bears do not attack unless they are threatened or are caught off guard. So, it is very likely that one will not even be in harm’s way from a bear if they are extra careful and do not do anything that will make the bear feel threatened. However, one can never tell if they will ever be attacked by a man, provoked or not. This can be seen in other instances as well such as, women not wanting to be in an elevator alone with a man, being scared and not feeling safe walking alone at night, feeling extra paranoid if their Uber driver turns out to be a man and not a woman, etc. 

There is more certainty with bears. For example, the way they look is a great indicator of the best way one should act in order to be safe. As the famous saying goes, “If the bear is black, fight back. If the bear is brown, lie down.” However, a man could look or be dressed in any way and no one will be able to tell what their true intentions are. 

Let’s say one is attacked by a bear. The two most likely reasons are as follows: The bear saw them as a threat and needs to protect itself or they are the bear’s prey. Both reasons are natural instincts animals feel and need to act upon in order to survive. However, if a man attacks a harmless person, it is 100% intentional and is motivated by desire, satisfaction, and/or pleasure. Women have spoken up and said that they would much rather die a prey of an animal rather than a prey of a man. It is usual and normal for animals to treat and view humans as food, however, it is disgusting and inhumane when a man does that. 

The man and bear phenomena has spread worldwide raising questions in everyone’s mind and State High was no exception. 

“A bear is never going to be like, ‘You were wearing this, you were wearing that, you were looking at me in a XYZ way,” sophomore Libby Peachey said. 

The graphic shows that out of the 50 girls in State High that chose between being stuck in a forest with a man or a bear, only one chose a man. 

“The chances of something happening to you without you provoking [a bear] is a lot lower, I would say. Not necessarily [a man would attack you regardless of feeling attacked or not], but it is possible, you have less control over the situation,” said sophomore Eve Kennedy. 

The graph shows that this question is not just a trend on social media, it has acted as a voice for the people who needed a vessel to speak up and this method has helped them to. ‘Man or Bear?’ has caused a lot of debates to spark up on social media, but it has also made room for meaningful conversation and have helped people see why a woman would much rather pick an animal. 

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