A mama bear with her cubs

Men Are Proving the Whole Point of the Man vs. Bear Debate

TikTok’s recent trending “Man vs. Bear debate” unexpectedly led to the platform raising awareness for violence against women. However, many men have been bizarrely triggered by the trend.

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The trend began several weeks ago when a popular TikTok account asked seven women whether they’d prefer to encounter a man they don’t know or a bear while alone in the forest. Of all of the women, only one chose a man over the bear.

@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

Soon, the question went viral, with countless women answering it and sharing their reasoning and personal experiences. The vast majority of women responded that they would 100% prefer the bear over a man, and it’s hardly surprising. It’s estimated that 1 in every 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of men. Those who haven’t experienced it personally usually know someone who has. Knowing what men can do, it seems obvious that women would choose the bear.

Men have responded to the trend by becoming bizarrely enraged that women are picking bears over men. Instead of being struck by how unsafe women feel around them, many men have taken to going on rants and melting down on TikTok and Reddit while mocking or attacking women for choosing the bear.

How the Man vs. Bear debate turned into something more than a trend

Initially, the man vs. bear debate was just like any other TikTok trend, with users answering random questions and comparing their answers for fun. However, it didn’t take long for the videos to take a sobering turn, as women used it to shed light on the realities of being a woman. Instead of just answering “man” or “bear,” women started providing their reasoning for choosing the bear, and their answers hit close to home for countless others.

One of the most frequent explanations was, “The worst a bear can do to me is kill me.” Other women also pointed out that they’d prefer to be attacked or killed by a bear because at least then they’d be treated with care and respect. They’d be believed without issue if they came out of the forest saying a bear attacked them, but if they came out of the forest saying a man attacked them, they’d be called a liar and likely become victims of a smear campaign. Similarly, if they were killed or attacked by a bear, they wouldn’t be accused of liking the attack or blamed for causing the attack because of what they were wearing. Meanwhile, the bear would likely be euthanized for attacking them, whereas a man would likely be praised and vehemently defended. One woman stated that at least she wouldn’t have to see the bear at family gatherings after the attack.

And another point: If a woman were killed by the bear, they’d know they died feeding a hungry, innocent animal who didn’t know it was doing anything wrong. Isn’t that better than being senselessly, intentionally killed by a man?

Then, there are also the hard numbers. Bear attacks, especially fatal ones, are very rare. It’s estimated that there have only been 180 fatal bear attacks in North America since 1784. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that three women are murdered by men per day in the United States. The number of femicides in the United States has also been rising each year. Statistics have found that men aged 18-24 are 167 times more likely to kill someone than a black bear. Bear attacks are rare because the animals often leave humans alone as long as they don’t feel threatened. However, women and girls are frequently attacked and killed by men for merely existing.

Why are men so offended by the man vs. bear trend?

While the videos that women have posted about their reasoning for choosing the bear are heartbreaking, many men oddly find them offensive. Countless men have made videos and social media posts, essentially ranting that women are stupid and bigoted for choosing the bear. One Redditor claimed that the posts are promoting hatred of men and that the trend is making it seem as if all men go around killing and attacking women for no reason. Others have made videos showing the strength and speed of bears and laughing that women are ridiculous for choosing an animal over a man.

Also, some men have started saying they’d supposedly choose a bear over a woman in the woods. However, instead of providing actual facts about violence against men at the hands of women or real-life experiences they’ve had being attacked by women, they’re peddling false claims that all women are liars and golddiggers. Many men are saying that every woman choosing the bear is lying. They’ve also taken to cherry-picking and distorting statistics about violent men and incarceration rates to make it seem like violence against women isn’t even an issue in the first place.

It’s strange because women are laying out their reasoning quite clearly. So, what exactly do these men not understand? It’s actually laughable that some men have the gall to argue that men don’t just go around randomly killing and attacking women even though … they do. It’s certainly not all men, but it’s way more than enough to make women afraid. Women don’t even have to be alone in a secluded forest for a man to attack them. Laken Hope Riley was jogging in broad daylight on her college campus when she was murdered for no reason by a 26-year-old man who happened to spot her. Junko Furuta was riding her bike home when she was attacked, tortured, and murdered by four men. Sade Robinson was murdered for going on one date with a man.

Women aren’t trying to promote hatred of men. They’re merely pointing to the reality they live in. They live in a world where hatred and violence against women are so rampant that they don’t feel safe even walking to their cars alone at night or going out for a morning run. Meanwhile, they also live in a society where they are believed and valued so little that they know they’d get more justice if a bear were their murderer rather than a man. Women aren’t saying all men are bad, but simply that no woman or girl knows what a man might do to them, and they’d rather not find out.

Perhaps instead of laughing and going on rants, men should actually listen to what women are saying. Maybe if they listened and cared for just a few moments, they’d be moved to actually prove to women that they can be trusted over a bear instead of simply demanding that women stop talking about the violent acts men commit.

(featured image: LuCaAr / Getty)


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Author
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.