My cat is a predator with genius, small birds, mice and such but is prey to a coyote from the park. It constantly assess where it is in the hierarchy as a matter of personal safety and it’s genetic drive to hunt. Within our current society people assess their place in the hierarchy for similar purpose.
On my morning walk in the park while I do not intend to act as a predator, situational awareness is prudent. Generally the homeless don’t bother anyone because they don’t want an encounter with the police, but if they really want that crack or they are just racist polar bear hunters, I do assess them for their place in the physical dominance hierarchy as a matter of these assessment. How different is that from a lone woman on an elevator when the unknown man steps in? Not much.
I realise that this is a variant that you may not have been thinking of, but I think it reenforces the status quo.