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‘Man or Bear’ trend shows Women Safety remains Unaccomplished


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‘Man or Bear’ trend shows Women Safety remains Unaccomplished

It’s truly weird how the most random pieces of content go viral on social media, and how they reflect human nature. But this might not always be the making-all-people-laugh kind of content. The recent ‘Man or Bear’ viral trend has led to important discussions about women’s safety, including some disconcerting ones.

A TikTok video shows a man asking women on the street whether they’d choose a man or a bear, if they encountered them in a forest. Overwhelmingly, the respondents picked the bear. The answers are not the cause for the video’s viral status, the reasoning is. Women said they would feel much safer around a bear than a man. “Men are scary,” the first respondent answers right off the bat. Many women since then have come out explaining why they would risk being with a wild animal than a human. “A bear doesn’t really have a reason to kill you,” says another woman. She alsso adds that the reasons behind a man doing that are “concerning.”

‘Man on Bear’ debate sheds light on a dark reality

Almost all women have highlighted that they perceived even such a hypothetical encounter with a man as dangerous. Some men, however, were not happy with the answers at all, and even claimed the women were misandrists. Some men have also come out in support of these women. They take a dig at how their anger is the very reason why the women would pick a bear over them. A Reddit user comments on one such about hearing somewhere that even in this hypothetical situation, “men still can’t take no for an answer.”

Statistics have also been deployed as proof validating women’s fear. UN Women reports that globally, more than five females have been killed every hour by known family members. 55% of female murders are committed by intimate partners, or family members. An estimated 736 million (1 in 3) women globally, have also faced domestic/sexual violence at the hands of intimate partners. Compared to these harrowing numbers, only 40 bear attacks on humans occur every year, globally. And these attacks have largely happened because the bear felt threatened. 

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A trend that should be taken seriously

There are no actual studies that compare the severity of danger posed to women if they encounter a bear or a man in the woods. But women are still choosing bears in a heartbeat, because of the dangerous crimes that happen against them on a daily basis, across the globe, in the most advanced of cities. Some have left saddening comments like, “at least people would believe me” (upon being attacked/killed by a bear) under these posts. People have gone on to making memes depicting that the bear might just turn out to be a man in a bear suit. Drastic real life interactions with men are so common that women, even hypothetically, prefer not being left alone with men. The overwhelming way in which women have associated safety with a wild animal is indicative of a brutal truth. There’s simply not enough work done in improving safety for women. The acceptance of a hypothetical bear-related death should shock people, instead of inviting ridicule.

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