Many women have said on social media that they would rather be approached by a bear in the woods rather than a random man

Washington (AFP) - If you’re a woman alone in a forest, would you rather be approached by a random man or… a bear?

The random hypothetical question has gone viral in recent weeks on social media, provoking a passionate debate about women’s perceptions of dangers, particularly around the opposite sex.

The public conversation seems to have kicked off in April on TikTok, but has spread like a forest fire across other platforms, including Instagram and X, with women across the globe weighing in.

In one video, of the eight women interviewed on the street in London, seven choose the bear, most chuckling at the sudden realization of their counterintuitive choice.

“A bear isn’t going to rape me before it kills me,” wrote one Internet user on X. “No one will feel sorry for the bear because killing me might ruin his career,” she added.

Sharing a screenshot of a testimonial about a marital rape, another user commented: “This is why women choose the bear.”

“I get that, you know what to expect from a bear,” said one TikTok user, apparently a man.

Other men have responded with bafflement.

“It’s crazy, this vision of men…” said one user on X.

While the debate carries on, US conservative news outlet Fox News has published a detailed list of tips on how to save your life in the event of an impromptu encounter with a bear while hiking.