An Australian man has been slammed for making his girlfriend’s graduation ceremony ‘all about him’ by publicly proposing as she accepted her degree – with the backlash even forcing the university to issue a grovelling apology.
Outspoken feminist commentator Clementine Ford criticised the wannabe fiance for ‘making it all about him’ after video emerged of the moment during a recent graduation ceremony at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
The man is heard telling his girlfriend to ‘stay here… I love you with all my heart’ before dropping down to one knee and proposing to her.
But the scene didn’t impress Ms Ford, who labelled the gesture as ‘entrapment’ in a Facebook video on Friday.
She sarcastically noted the proposal would remind the woman her accomplishments will never compete with the ‘greatest achievement of all – landing a man and a ring’.
She called on men to stop making empowering female moments about them and let women be ‘brilliant without you’.
‘Stop f***ing stealing women’s moments from them. They do not belong to you. They are not yours to have,’ Ms Ford said.
‘That is her moment, she has graduated. We don’t know under what conditions she went to university, we don’t know how hard that was for her, but she did it by herself.
‘Why do men look at situations where women have achieved something for themselves, where they are about to receive praise and admiration… and they think, “you know what? I’m going to make this moment about me.”
‘I’m going to make it so that she remembers, always, that the day she graduated was the day I proposed to her. That was the most important thing that happened to her that day.
:She also called out the audience members clapping during the proposal, claiming they were indulging in ‘displays of ownership’.
La Trobe University responded to the backlash and has since removed the video and apologised for its error of judgment.
‘We made an error of judgement today,’ The university commented on Ms Ford’s Facebook post.
‘Our graduation ceremonies are all about celebrating student achievement, and this event detracted from that important acknowledgement of our students’ success.’
Ms Ford’s video has since garnered over 1,300 comments, with many users angered by the public proposal.
‘This makes me so angry!!!! I worked my arse off to get my degrees and if my partner did this I would be enraged. And the relationship would be over,’ one user wrote.