In the wake of trending hashtags #MenAreTrash and the #RUReference, Rhodes Music Radio as part of their ‘Future Beats’’ Program embarked on a campaign to highlight the underlying issues these hashtags brought to their campus community. In order to tackle patriarchal norms and values the campus radio station hosted “Men’s Week”’. “The campaign aspired to push men to give their privilege up in the name of equality” said Chelsea Ogilvy, the station Programming Manager. The idea of the campaign is a result of a Future Beats National Workshop Programme that challenged all participating Future Beats radio stations to engage listeners on toxic masculinity and patriarchy as one of the enablers of gender based violence in a Gender Based Violence sensitisation workshop.
The workshop held on September 8, 2017 in Pretoria and facilitated by Thulani Greyville Grey a Mental Health Specialist and HIV expert is part of the Future Beats capacity development component that allows the stations to network, share best practices discuss lessons learned, and receive information on current issues in the student community.
The Men’s week campaign conducted by Rhodes Music Radio included the station hosting a talk show facilitating conversation that encouraged men talking honestly and openly about their views on patriarchy. The week ended with a walk creatively called the “lipstick pain walk”. The station invited everyone to participate in a social experiment that was aimed at helping men understand the female experience for a brief moment. Participants were required to wear lipstick and had people planted along the route catcalling at those walking down the designated road. The end of the campaign saw men voluntarily pledging to give up their privilege by wiping off their lipstick from the walk as an embodiment of their change.