Writing Prompts: Bear With Me

Also posted on The Coalition of the Brave.

There is a question that’s recently been circulating around the web. It’s aimed at women, and the responses are quite telling. ‘Would you rather be alone in the woods with a man, or a bear?’ A lot of women are choosing the bear.

The reason is simple enough, and quite triggering for misogynists. A lot of women who answered ‘bear’ have recounted numerous instances of abuse from men, abuse which has led to them feeling uncomfortable and even fearful around men. The Quint has published an article discussing the reasoning, and the article also does a great job of highlighting the vitriolic responses of men who are put out by this. You have to wonder if those men saying ‘I hope the bear kills her’ realise they are justifying a woman’s preference for risking the bear!

Some men have mentioned that a bear is deadly. Quite. It is inadvisable to get too close to a wild animal that can kill you with one swipe of its very large paws. However, as the post on Pesdestrian.TV points out, a bear can be counted upon to behave like a bear. It is a known quantity. For a lot of women, they cannot be certain as to whether or not a man will be decent, or dangerous. Men are not predictable. Hence the apprehension, and hence the preference for the bear. Plus, the bear is likely to leave her alone if suitably dealt with; men will tend to harass a woman over and over, escalating a situation.

There is also another element to the trust question. If a woman were to say she’d been attacked by a bear, the odds are she’d be believed. When she says she’s been abused by a man, her integrity gets questioned, and she is made to feel like she is somehow in the wrong. No wonder a lot of women would rather take their chances with the bear!

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