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Spinoff of YC's 'Standing Alone' Thread


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This is a spin-off of @yogacatthread about a man standing up for his girlfriend or wife and agreeing with her and sharing the same beliefs. 
 
It's a different scenario so thought I'd create a separate thread. I think it's a great topic! 
 
So I discussed in a previous thread about my interest in bears, their behavior, and what we should do and not do upon encountering one. 
 
I think I may have mentioned a great video podcast series called 'Scary Bear Attacks" about true life attacks and their aftermath.
 
I'm really enjoying this series!   It's a true testament to the power of the human spirit when faced with extreme adversity and danger, our instincts to survive and the coming together of people (loved ones, friends, strangers) in a time of extreme crises. 
 
So the man I'm dating and I watched an episode last night about a couple (bf/gf) hiking and suddenly surprising a sow with her cubs. 
 
For a split second they made eye contact and she (the sow) came charging.  The couple began running, the boyfriend ran faster and climbed a tree and left gf behind. :classic_sad:
 
He then began watching as the bear attacked his gf to her ultimate death.:classic_sad::classic_sad:
 
The bear hung around contemplating whether she should climb the tree and drag the bf down but didn't and eventually left. 
 
The boyfriend then ran for help.
 
So.....  this particular story upset me so much!   How the bf only thought of himself, ran ahead of gf leaving her behind and climbed the tree and went on to watch his gf being ripped to shreds and doing NOTHING.  
 
Complete *** as far as I'm concerned and thankfully my guy friend agreed with me 100% !!
 
I must have watched a dozen or so bear attacks since discovering this channel and in every single case other than this, a loved one, friend or even a stranger instinctively stepped in to run the bear off either with bear spray, punching the bear on its nose or face, shooting the bear, yelling or throwing rocks and in most cases, it worked!  The bear ran off.
 
But here?  No the bf only thought of himself, saving himself.
 
Talk about NOT having your girlfriend's back!!
 
What do others think?  What would you do in such a situation with a loved one?  Your girlfriend, wife or for a woman your boyfriend or husband.  Or how about your child? 
 
Of course there's the risk the bear could turn around and attack you but it happens so fast, there is no time to think other than utilize our instincts as human beings to help our loved one. 
 
There was another episode where a wife was being attacked and her husband ran for help and one of the comments was from a man who said "no way in HELL I'm leaving my wife in a situation like that.  I'd rather risk my life and be killed than do that."
 
My guyfriend agreed!  Not sure how I would've felt if he hadn't, but thankfully he did -- all is well in the world, lol 😍
 
What are your thoughts?  Am I judging the boyfriend too harshly for only thinking of himself?  
 
This question is for women too re their boyfriends or husbands or a loved one.
 
I think the human spirit to protect when adversity and danger strikes is instinctive and not gender related.
 
Thanks in advance!!
 
 
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I think it depends on so many individual factors.  For me despite the temptation I won't let myself judge based on a tv show or film -even a documentary -given editing and that they are complete strangers to me. I don't know his medical or mental health history, their past histories, etc.  

I know of couples with young kids where one spouse does extremely risky stuff as a hobby.  So there's an argument at least that - first that can be kind of selfish of the spouse to engage in very risky behavior knowing he or she is the parent of young kids- and -two - if they get hurt doing that risky hobby -because of the risks - should the other spouse step up and have their back and if so -to what extent? 

When the first plane hit on 9-11-01 I called my then boyfriend who lived ten blocks away and told him -please do not leave for work yet downtown -there seems to have been an accident with a small plane. This is what was first reported.  He said well it should be fine and I stayed on the phone and convinced him.  Would I have gone over to his place -raced there -to convince him? I'm not sure -we didn't know what was happening, we were about 5 miles or less away -would I have risked being outside while this was happening? He didn't come to my place either.  His sister was already downtown.

Then the second plane hit.  And about an hour later while the towers were falling I was walking to his place because his  sister was missing.  (She arrived home- walking -a couple of hours later -ok).  I had an old acquaintance who saved coworkers that day in one of the towers and he survived but risked his life.  A variety of responses.  As you probably know.  Instinct for sure but then there are other factors in almost every case.

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35 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

For me despite the temptation I won't let myself judge based on a tv show or film -even a documentary -given editing and that they are complete strangers to me.

Fair point however these are true life situations, not a depiction or "based on" and they're backed up to the letter by news clippings at the time among other things. 

There is no gory video of the attacks, they are narrated, so no editing.  The videos shown are of bears roaming in their natural habitat, unrelated to the attacks. 

35 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I don't know his medical or mental health history, their past histories, etc.  

The listener actually does know as there have been interviews conducted and research done on the victims and all involved. No stone is left unturned. 

In that couple's case, they were both grad students, and in excellent health physically and mentally. 

That's why it's such a great podcast.  One doesn't even have to watch the video portion, it's all narrated. 

Anyway, appreciate the response.  I thought the way I presented it was pretty straightforward, whether your natural instinct is to protect your loved one or only yourself.

It's not that nuanced as in other situations.

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Just now, rainbowsandroses said:

Fair point however these are true life situations, not a depiction or "based on" and they're backed up to the letter by news clippings at the time among other things. 

There is no gory video of the attacks, they are narrated, so no editing.  The videos shown are of bears roaming in their natural habitat, unrelated to the attacks. 

To me they're still on a screen and edited so to me they are always in a different category.  I agree about the bears.  Your post was not about whether bears protected each other but how a boyfriend should react to a girlfriend being attacked.  I assume you have the information you provided and I have a different view on how I react to documentaries, real-life stuff on a screen.  With very rare exception -with a grain of salt and I know I wouldn't base a serious discussion with a partner based on a movie or a documentary or a video of something.  Exceptions for me is like footage at the holocaust museum, footage from 9-11 where - horrible! - people were jumping from windows - then yes if someone said to me that it wasn't "that bad" and commented on not believing what was on the screen that's different. 

I take all documentaries with a grain of salt when it comes to the sort of analysis you suggested - when it's a talking point with an SO.  I'd have said "it looks like the bf ran away instead of protecting his gf. however I'd need to know more and the more presented on screen and off screen isn't sufficient for me to say definitively that the bf should have protected her. I respect your opinion that the information provided and your assumptions are accurate.  For me it wouldn't be enough.

Also to that point -when it comes to protecting from danger -for sure we can never know when danger will strike -natural dangers like a storm, crime, etc.  However I personally wouldn't date someone who -rode a motorcycle/owned aggressive untrained dogs/wanted to go near bears as you described or similar high risk activities.  I wouldn't have dated someone who drove drunk, used illegal drugs, did some sort of wrestling or boxing -so in my world with a loved one I've minimized the scenarios involving protection.  

I don't think it's all black and white "either you want to protect your loved one or not" -it's nuanced, individual, contextual - many people might "want to protect" and make bad choices in implementation, some may protect too much and hamper a relationship in that way, others may protect in the way they know best and their partner sees it differently -thinks they could have done more/done something differently.  I respect you find it straightforward and that will be helpful to you in choosing a partner who feels the same so that there don't have to be nuanced discussions. 

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Oh.

This reminds me of the trolly problem, are you familiar? The boyfriend found himself in a situation similar to the classic trolly dilemma. 

Do you let your girlfriend die, or do you put your own life at risk and try to save her?

Some people argue that it is selfish to choose self-preservation over saving someone else, while others argue that it is natural and instinctive for us to prioritize our own survival.

In this case, I personally feel that the boyfriend was in shock and fear took over, causing him to run and climb the tree. However, it is also possible that he made a conscious decision to save himself and let his girlfriend fend for herself.

Regardless of the reason, it is definitely a disappointing and heart-wrenching situation to witness. I would hope that if I were in a similar situation, my partner would be brave enough to try to save me, even if it meant risking their own life. 

But as you said, the human instinct to protect our loved ones may not be gender-specific. And it is important to remember that every person reacts differently in high-stress situations, so it's hard to say how we would actually behave unless we are in that situation ourselves.

So, let's turn this around a bit. If you came across a train headed towards five people, and the train if left untouched, would kill said five people, or, would you pull the lever, of which neither of us nor anyone else else has a chance of stopping it from killing the five, but which would divert the train to an alternate track, upon which there is only one person, or, whether you do nothing and the five are killed or you intervene, killing the single person but the five live?

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16 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

To me they're still on a screen and edited so...

Batya, I don't wish to go back and forth about this or analyze it.

If you don't wish to answer the question that is certainly your perogative and I respect it!

I happen to think yoga's thread was a great topic of discussion and this is an extension of that. 

And again, this is basically a podcast, no editing.  Like I said one does not even need to watch the screen, I often don't.  It's not necessary.  

Also worth mentioning, in many cases the survivors themselves are interviewed in the podcast as in the inspiring case of Allena Hanson who had her own podcast and wrote a book.  It all matched 

Anyway, there's no need to respond back.  I understand your point and fair enough. 

Thanks. 

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Here's an example - partly hypothetical.  When our son was 12 days old I woke up from a nap with a stroke -we didn't know it was till a few days later but I was having weird and scary symptoms.  My husband immediately made phone calls-my doctor, his doctor friend and then his cousin - his cousin to come over and take me to the ER. So hmmmm.  What if I'd said -what??? You have to come to the ER with me so find a way to take our son! You want to protect me right -well I'm scared of going to the ER by myself -I'm sick and scared and 12 days postpartum/post major surgery!

So then what -if he goes and takes a 12 day old into a hospital he's protecting me but not really our son.  If he doesn't go he's judged by me -hypothetically! - of not protecting his wife. The mother of his child.  That's when it's not black and white.

In reality my expectation was - he'd help and protect me which he did - I never questioned him not going to the hospital with me. A few hours later while taking care of our newborn he got a call that his parent also had gone to the ER after a fall.  He stayed home with our son.  But consider -now he had two loved ones he's supposed to protect and care for.  In different hospitals.  True you can protect and care for without physically showing up, depending but that's assuming the one who needs protection isn't demanding "you will show up now if you really care!"  Because - how to protect is not set in stone. 

I instinctively protect myself but -inexplicably -when my then coworker came to my side of the desk one night and leaned over and kissed me on the cheek one would think as I'd done many times in the past I'd instinctively have gone to protect myself - said NO or pushed him away.  Nope.  I froze.  I couldn't speak - when I'm instinctively chatty.  So it looked like I consented.  Looked like - you'd have seen that on a screen let's say and surmised -hmmmm -looks like she was ok with being kissed by him.  

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6 minutes ago, rainbowsandroses said:

Batya, I don't wish to go back and forth about this or analyze it.

If you don't wish to answer the question that is certainly your perogative and I respect it!

I happen to think yoga's thread was a great topic of discussion and this is an extension of that. 

And again, this is basically a podcast, no editing.  Like I said one does not even need to watch the screen, I often don't.  It's not necessary.  

Also worth mentioning, in many cases the survivors themselves are interviewed in the podcast as in the inspiring case of Allena Hanson who had her own podcast and wrote a book.  It all matched 

Anyway, there's no need to respond back.  I understand your point and fair enough. 

Thanks. 

Oh I did answer - just not as you expected. I said it depends on individual factors.  In fact I answered in detail. I'm not interested in going back and forth and I find it interesting that you see it as so set in stone such that it would be so clear to anyone -as Yogacat wrote (after I wrote all I wrote I read it) there is someone else who saw it as nuanced. Not about right or wrong -it's an opinion. 

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6 minutes ago, yogacat said:

In this case, I personally feel that the boyfriend was in shock and fear took over, causing him to run and climb the tree.

^^This is certainly possible!  And a very logical way of seeing it!  Thank you that was helpful. 

My response was emotional hence my reaction.

8 minutes ago, yogacat said:

So let's turn this around a bit. If you came across a train headed towards five people, and the train if left untouched, would kill said five people, or, would you pull the lever, of which neither of us nor anyone else else has a chance of stopping it from killing the five, but which would divert the train to an alternate track, upon which there is only one person, or, whether you do nothing and the five are killed or you intervene, killing the single person but the five live?

I'm gonna have to think about that!!! 

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10 minutes ago, rainbowsandroses said:

^^This is certainly possible!  And a very logical way of seeing it!  Thank you that was helpful. 

My response was emotional hence my reaction.

I'm gonna have to think about that!!! 

It's an interesting thought, for sure, and not to compare to the movies, but remember in Titanic when Rose's fiancé only thought of himself and ended up taking a lifeboat and leaving Rose behind?

He was the epitome of a coward IMO.

But let's get back to the bear issue because this is something that can really happen when you're out in the wilderness, especially in bear country.  

If a person is willing to abandon their significant other in a life or death situation, can they really be trusted to have their back in other aspects of the relationship? 

I mean, sure, when panic sets in, people react differently and don't always act logically or heroically, but I do believe that instinctively, most people want to protect their loved ones and will do whatever it takes to ensure their safety. 

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I will let you know that some women would gladly choose the bear over the man. This whole thread is bearophobic!!!! (sorry, but couldnt resist, if you know about "Bear or men" dilemma you know what I mean 🤣)

Anyway

1 hour ago, rainbowsandroses said:
So.....  this particular story upset me so much!   How the bf only thought of himself, ran ahead of gf leaving her behind and climbed the tree and went on to watch his gf being ripped to shreds and doing NOTHING.  
 

What was he suppose to do? Which one of his actions aside of him maybe having a gun, would result in having her saved instead of having 2 corpses there instead of just 1?

I do agree that he didnt demonstrate too much of a courage there. And that he maybe could have done more. But his options were literally to die with her(or maybe sacrifice for her), and to try to save himself. Not very good options and dont think most would choose "courage" and try something else.

Now, kid is an interesting option. Because most people would sacrifice themselves if they could save their children. It creates a bigger dilemma because of that. Hypothetically I mean. 

There is also an interesting one with the plane. If you and your kid are on a plane that starts falling down, and only one of those oxygen things get activated, do you give it to the kid or do you take it for yourself?

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I recall a situation with one of my ex's (my first true love actually), we were at a club one night, a man began hitting on me, my boyfriend had words with him, the guy offered to 'take it outside' which they did. 

A fight ensued and my very first instinct was to jump to my boyfriend’s defense and I started screaming at the guy (group of guys) to stop.  I was contemplating jumping on one of them and hitting him myself!!

Another guy came to his aid and I ended up going back into the club and getting help. 

But I'll never forget what my first instinct was - to protect my boyfriend 

I would have taken a bullet for that man as unhealthy as that may sound.

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@Kwothe28in the other stories I listened to, like I said in every other situation and it didn't matter whether it was the woman being attacked or the man, their partner would do something not just run away or climb a tree leaving partner behind. 

Bear spray or somehow distracting the bear with rocks or something.  Which often worked. 

It's not gender specific, it's human being specific. 

 

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My one time hero was when I flew out to visit family. I was going to drive back by myself 3000 miles.

Well, the man I had been dating for a couple months, didn't want me to drive back all that way by myself...He knew I was nervous.

He flew out, rented a car, and drove the entire length of the journey back with me.

Brownie points 😄

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19 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

There is also an interesting one with the plane. If you and your kid are on a plane that starts falling down, and only one of those oxygen things get activated, do you give it to the kid or do you take it for yourself?

My child definitely!  For me, not even anything I'd have to think about. 

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I think everyone’s life has value. Would I give my life ? Yes. And almost gave my life for my son’s life without even considering myself . 
 

So there are some cases I would give up my life. Should men just give their life just because they are a man? Not necessarily, they count as well. Men have value beyond female protection . 

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4 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

I think everyone’s life has value. Would I give my life ? Yes. And almost gave my life for my son’s life without even considering myself . 
 

So there are some cases I would give up my life. Should men just give their life just because they are a man? Not necessarily, they count as well. Men have value beyond female protection . 

I’ve never told my son that I had a postpartum stroke. Because I don’t want him to be burdened with thinking my pregnancy endangered my health. But first I determined from testing that there were no genetic components.
What’s interesting is - as a mom - I’m not a fan of getting pregnant if it’s life threatening because well - then your child might be without a mom. But many pregnant women do what it takes to protect their unborn baby in dangerous situations like falling on a sidewalk or being in a situation that’s dangerous to an unborn baby etc. And without even thinking. 

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2 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I’ve never told my son that I had a postpartum stroke. Because I don’t want him to be burdened with thinking my pregnancy endangered my health. But first I determined from testing that there were no genetic components.
What’s interesting is - as a mom - I’m not a fan of getting pregnant if it’s life threatening because well - then your child might be without a mom. But many pregnant women do what it takes to protect their unborn baby in dangerous situations like falling on a sidewalk or being in a situation that’s dangerous to an unborn baby etc. And without even thinking. 

True having a baby is a life risking issue even in the modern day. I had a severe hemorrhage after my son’s birth and when he was 3 saved his life in a potential drowning situation and put my life at extreme risk. 
 

As the mother of a son I feel so deflated that the lives of men seem to have so little value . I can protect myself and speak up for myself. Would my husband defend me? Absolutely . But he doesn’t need to . 

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1 hour ago, yogacat said:

In this case, I personally feel that the boyfriend was in shock and fear took over, causing him to run and climb the tree. However, it is also possible that he made a conscious decision to save himself and let his girlfriend fend for herself.

I'm on that side too. I wouldn't judge him too harshly because these things happen so quickly and they are so scary. Flight or flight mode will unconsciously kick-in, and he may have responded by hiding immediately from danger. It must have been horrifying to witness someone being eaten by a bear.

I'd probably be screaming like crazy unable to cope. Maybe I'd then fight it off with something. I can't fully tell what my reaction would be because the human body and fight system can be unpredictable under pressure!

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52 minutes ago, yogacat said:

My one time hero was when I flew out to visit family. I was going to drive back by myself 3000 miles.

Well, the man I had been dating for a couple months, didn't want me to drive back all that way by myself...He knew I was nervous.

He flew out, rented a car, and drove the entire length of the journey back with me.

Brownie points 😄

😍 brownie points indeed!!

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1 hour ago, yogacat said:

My one time hero was when I flew out to visit family. I was going to drive back by myself 3000 miles.

Well, the man I had been dating for a couple months, didn't want me to drive back all that way by myself...He knew I was nervous.

He flew out, rented a car, and drove the entire length of the journey back with me.

Brownie points 😄

That is very nice but hopefully not an expectation. Expecting “ heroism” after a few months of dating expect failure and disappointment. If one expects heroism they should also give it . 

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2 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

That is very nice but hopefully not an expectation. Expecting “ heroism” after a few months of dating expect failure and disappointment. If one expects heroism they should also give it . 

I don't think I said it was an expectation. He completely surprised me and I was grateful for his gesture. I did more than my share of other things throughout the relationship, so it was definitely a balance. It was just one instance where he went above and beyond and it stuck with me.

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1 hour ago, rainbowsandroses said:

My child definitely!  For me, not even anything I'd have to think about. 

And you would be wrong(kinda). As in that situation, best chances of survival would net you putting on the mask and trying to save the kid when you crash(if you both survive that). Because a kid couldnt carry you but you could carry a kid. See how its hard to assess the situation properly in situations like that?

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1 hour ago, Seraphim said:

True having a baby is a life risking issue even in the modern day. I had a severe hemorrhage after my son’s birth and when he was 3 saved his life in a potential drowning situation and put my life at extreme risk. 
 

As the mother of a son I feel so deflated that the lives of men seem to have so little value . I can protect myself and speak up for myself. Would my husband defend me? Absolutely . But he doesn’t need to . 

I feel the same and as my son gets older these sorts of biases when I see them concern me. 

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