Students at Sydney Girls High speak out against viral feminism video.

To coincide with International Women’s Day, early last week Sydney Boys High released a video on social media about why feminism is so important.

Prefects from the school shared quotes from women in their lives about the realities of inequality – in the workplace, at school, within their families, and during their day to day activities.

The response to the video was overwhelming. It was widely praised and shared on social media, with comments commending the boys for being “real men,” and “taking a step in the right direction.”

But on Saturday morning, a letter published in The Sydney Morning Herald, written by the prefects of Sydney Girls High (the sister school of Sydney Boys High), expressed concerns over what the video really meant for women and girls.

Image via Nina Funnell.

"While we believe it is an important initiative promoting feminism by Sydney Boys, the reality of sexism at boys' schools similar to and including Sydney Boys has failed to be addressed by the video," the letter read.

The students used the example of a 'gender pay gap' bake sale last year, where there was an "outcry" from Sydney Boys High over "discrimination towards men" that included "intimidation against students of Sydney Girls".

Ultimately, the letter said the video was "tokenistic," and "reinforces the idea that women's experiences must be voiced by men in order to be validated."

The prefects ended the letter by reiterating that they don't "wish to discourage further support of feminism," but instead just want to ask why male voices were needed, when "if expressed by women, [these issues] would be disregarded."

Online, both Clementine Ford and Nina Funnell have been supportive of the letter, with Ford writing, "It's great that schoolboys want to highlight how important feminism is, but they do not deserve to be celebrated for it or rewarded."

Listen to the Mamamia Outloud team discuss International Women's Day. Post continues after audio. 

"When their female peers speak out on these issues, their male peers are just as likely to bombard them with retrosexism about getting back in the kitchen, asking for the man in charge, talking about how inequality is a myth and/or threatening them with violence."

Do you think the Sydney Boys High video is problematic?