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What About The Boys Special Screening.

Harmful stereotypes in society are as detrimental to men and young boys as they are to women and the girl-child. This is also true in relation to the fight against gender-based violence and, according to some, the critical argument is that more needs to be done in re-evaluating the traditional yet toxic notions of masculinity. The effects of these societal expectations on boys are evident in how they are raised in relation to their female counterparts.

Statistics suggest that boys are struggling and need more support and guidance than ever before. The traditional notions of masculinity that promote aggression, dominance, and emotional suppression are outdated and unhealthy. By challenging toxic masculinity, the one-of-a-kind GBV-preventative ‘ What About The Boys? seeks to redefine what it means to be a good man. To kick off the 2024 edition of the programme, Primestars, CHIETA, SASOL, the GBVF Response Fund along with some 200 high school boys gathered at the Ster Kinekor complex at The Zone in Rosebank. It was a day filled with determination and a shared vision for a more inclusive and safer tomorrow.

Since inception in 2022 ‘ What About The Boys?’ has impacted over 40 000 high school boys from under-resourced township and rural communities nationally, presenting to them relatable storytelling through movies, coupled with our informative, illustrated Good Men Guide workbooks, MENtorship and a free online platform called Primestars Digital.

Vital to the programme’s success has been the qualitative and quantitative data gathered before and after the programme’s implementation. Before going through the programme:

  • 16% of boys agreed with the statement that ‘There are times when a woman deserves to be beaten’
  • 30% agreed with the statement that ‘It is okay for a man to hit his girlfriend or wife if she won’t have sex with him’.
  • 74% agreed with the statement ‘A man can have sex with his wife whenever he wants’.

Post-assessments with the same learners showed that these percentages had dropped dramatically.

It has been said “If we educate our sons, we won’t have to protect our daughters. We won’t have to teach them how to defend themselves.”

Primestars cannot do it alone and the tangible change in our young men is due to the commitment by the action-leadership of our partners from various private, public and civic organisations. This commitment continues to build a strong foundation for sustainable change and positive societal transformation.

“As social reformer, writer and statesman Frederick Douglass said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. “What About the Boys?” was designed to help boys redefine masculinity by teaching them to share emotions in healthy ways, accept and connect with others, manage emotional triggers, stand up and speak out against bullying and inequality and break free from rigid stereotypes. “ – Martin Sweet, Founder and Managing Director of Primestars

“Redefining masculinity and supporting boys on their journey to becoming good men! Creating a movement for change one empowered boy at a time. “ – Nkosinathi Moshoana, Primestars Chief Operating Officer

“Our Youth are the hope for the future, we must exercise courageous leadership and make a difference in society.” – Yershen Pillay, CEO of CHIETA.

“Through collaboration and commitment, we can empower the youth to become the change-makers of tomorrow. “ – Gao Mothoagae, Vice President CSI RSA and Sasol Foundation.

Together we are challenging the traditional notions of masculinity, cultivating emotional intelligence, and embracing a new paradigm of manhood that is rooted in respect, empathy, and accountability. – Faith Khanyile, Chairperson of the Board- GBVF Response Fund

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