Woman VS Bear: Two Things Can Be True

Last week social media became busy regarding an odd premise. Women began proactively offering that should they be asked the hypothetical question “If you were hiking in the woods, would you rather come across a man or a bear” that they would answer with Bear. Much like finding out someone is a vegan, nobody actually asked. Thus, it came across to men as an unprovoked brow-beating from bitter misandrists.

Men would fire back that not all men were dangerous to women, and any bear you run into in the woods is dangerous. All things ‘No Shit.

To be fair, not all men and women were at odds, rather it was a vocal minority on each side. Plenty of others simply laughed at the memes that came out of the controversy. You can always rely on memes. But for that vocal crowd this became a polarizing all or nothing debate, where in reality this is another example that two things can be true

Where did things go wrong? The concern that women have is obviously valid and true. However the framing of this concern was done exceptionally poorly, which gave birth to natural exceptions coming from men. Women were receiving “not all men” as a response because the thought experiment included all men. Women certainly were not saying that all men are this way, but it did construct yet another caricature about men that was unflattering, essentially stating that they are to be viewed as animals or sexual predators regardless of whether or not they are. While illustrating points can be beneficial for making a point, venturing into hyperbole about people is not a good way to convince them to listen to you. 

The thought experiment became less and less honest as the women making this comparison demanded control of all nuance. No nuance allowed from men, nor even from women who made counter points.

Below is a post from a woman extending the logic from the forest to women’s spaces such as bathrooms and locker rooms. 

She is told that this is irrelevant despite it being a natural and logical extension of the thought experiment. It is clearly an applicable element of this debate, so why is it irrelevant? Because you don’t control the nuance, that’s why. You don’t get to suggest this. That’s not where we intended for this conversation to go. 


Here seems like a good place to casually mention that just about every day a female adult sexually assaults a gradeschool boy.


The data is clear. Obviously way more women are harmed or killed by men than by bears every year. So why wouldn’t this comparison make the grandest of sense to everyone? Why wouldn’t men just understand that they should be perceived as threatening everywhere they go?

Let’s talk about how men understand this.

The thought experiment is centered around chance encounters with strangers. Men actually understand chance encounter violence very well, because more men are killed by strangers than women (and yes, we recognize that it is mostly men doing the killing).

While chance encounter violence does occur with women, the overwhelming majority of danger to women comes from intimate partners. When you see women justifying the Man VS Bear thought experiment due to 1 in 4 women experiencing sexual violence, what they are citing is an intimate partner and not a chance encounter with a stranger (which voids the premise behind the thought experiment).

Men understand bad men being intimate partners pretty well too. If you’re a man reading this, then much like myself you’ve probably warned a woman friend about an intimate partner they’ve started seeing, and she didn’t listen to you. You’re nodding yes, I can see you. You knew it was going to end badly and It did. The things you either knew about this guy, or were able to sense by his mannerisms and communications, were actually selling points to her. 

There’s a reason the vocal minority of women who are incredibly invested in this latest controversy also are conflating intimate partner violence with random chance to spread suspicion amongst all men. They’re attracted to red flags and are trying to absolve themselves of poor decision making.

Listen to the below audio clip obtained by Journalist Jonathan Choe. In this three minute voice clip sent to a friend by Liliya Guyvoronsky, she details why she has not left a toxic relationship. She gives plenty of good reasons for why she wants to leave that relationship, but listen to the reason why she hasn’t left. Now please understand that she is dead.

Liliya details many red flags about this person as reasons why she wants to leave, but the reason why she stayed is horrifying. She was emotionally invested in quite arguably the worst thing about this person. He would role play sex trafficking her, and she was so intrigued by the disturbing role play and she wanted to know what would happen next. Next she was murdered. 

Is it Liliya’s fault she was murdered? No. Is her murderer, James McNeal responsible for her death? Yes. Would Liliya still be alive if she were smarter? Also yes.

Do not absolve yourselves of poor decision making. Two things can be true.

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