This Tracks

Someone Asked Women If They’d Rather Be In The Woods With A Man Or Bear. Here’s How It Went.

One woman’s response to a mansplainer is going viral.

The world is, in so many ways, better for women than it was several decades ago. And, yes, many (some?) men can finally see the dangers women face. But others still play the oblivious card, and a recent viral TikTok discussion is really bringing those guys out. Fortunately, the people — read: badass women — of the internet just aren't having it.

It started, as many viral debates do, with a question: Would you rather be stuck in a forest with a man or a bear? Countless women chose the bear, triggering the fellas and their male fragility. "Y'all acting like men are scarier than bears? You ain't watched enough nature documentaries, baby," said Jonathan Buchanan in a reaction video that included him mansplaining bear facts to the world.

Since he didn't get it, another TikToker broke it down for him in her own now-viral stitch. "Women don't want to be attacked by men or bears," starts Kimbo (@justcallmekimbo). "But if I was attacked by a bear, people would believe me, and no one would ask me what I was wearing."

As women know, she nailed it.

Assuming she survived either encounter, the bear attack would be a believable, horrific story. If she survived an attack by a man, people would want to know what outfit she wore that could have potentially prompted the attack, how she was acting, and if she would submit to invasive and traumatic testing to prove the attack happened.

If she didn't survive? They'd still ask those same questions, while her killer would possibly remain free to live and hurt other women.

Kimbo didn't even have to rattle off all of the statistics about the likelihood of women being assaulted or killed by men to make her point (and that's to say nothing of all of the unreported or undocumented attacks). But men don't understand why women are more afraid of men than they are of bears? That's a problem.

And yet, there is an entire section of the male population — Jonathan Buchanan clearly included — that just can't wrap their heads around why women find strange men so scary or unnerving. It's this refusal or inability to accept they're the biggest threat to women that continues to perpetuate violence against women, along with the idea that we somehow deserve it.

The comments section, with almost 10k contributions, is full of solidarity and an all-too-real understanding.

"Avid hiker. I've seen both in the woods. One ran from me, and the other chased me. Guess which one was the bear," commented Baberly.

"Some[one] said, 'A bear lives there. A man probably followed you there,' and I was in shock," wrote Poison.

"My stepmom is a wildlife biologist and regularly goes into forests full of bears. I asked her the whole' bear or man' thing ... she said that at least if she was attacked by a bear, it would be killed," wrote Alice Windsor, reminding us all that animals are more likely to be held accountable for their actions than men.

"None of the bear's friends would say, 'He isn't that kind of bear' or accuse me of lying," commented Cal.

"When I tell people what precautions I take when hiking through bear country, people don't act like I'm an irrational bear-hater," commented Rosie Croteau.

"Also, I'd have to actively watch a nature documentary for bear fear. Man fear just happens from living," commented Ryan.

"Lived in CO my whole life and never been attacked on a hike or camping trip by a bear. I have, however, been attacked by men on both," wrote Katie.

So, which would you rather encounter in the woods: a bear or a man? I'm going with the bear.