Australian feminist writer Clementine Ford criticized a man seen proposing to his girlfriend at her graduation ceremony in Melbourne, Australia, in a viral video.
Ford’s tirade began with a video of the man walking up to his fiancée as she walked off the stage, diploma in hand. He then tells her, “I love you with all my heart,” before falling on his knees to propose as the audience claps.
“Stop it. Stop doing this,” Ford said to the camera in a Dec. 16 video shared on Facebook. “That is her moment. She’s 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. That is her moment.”
In the video’s caption, Ford wrote, “Why? Why do so many men feel the need to make women’s achievements about them?”
WARNING: The video contains language which some may find offensive.
“Why do they believe a public proposal is exactly what will make her GRADUATION better? Why can’t they just let women shine without having to draw the light towards themselves?”
Ford went on to call the proposal an “entrapment” and “not romantic.” “[H]ow is she meant to say no when there’s an auditorium of people oohing and gasping?” Ford wrote.
“Now, the only thing people will congratulate her for at the post grad party will be her engagement. They won’t ask to see the degree, only the ring,” the activist continued.
“To this woman, congratulations on your incredible academic achievement. You should be very proud.”
“Your degree will open more doors for you than marriage ever could, so don’t let it be diminished by our twisted cultural values,” she added. “To men everywhere thinking of pulling this s***. Don’t.”
“To audiences: stop applauding it! Stop indulging these displays of ownership. They are not sweet or romantic, they’re degrading.”
“If I ever see this, I will yell at him to get off the stage!” Ford wrote.
Footage of the proposal was initially posted on La Trobe University’s social media. However, in the wake of Ford’s criticism, the university backtracked and deleted the video.
“We made an error of judgement today – our graduation ceremonies are all about celebrating student achievement, and this event detracted from that important acknowledgement of our students’ success – we have removed the post,” the university wrote in a comment on Ford’s video.
The bride-to-be, Stephanie Bail, however, did not welcome the feminist writer’s tirade against her fiancé, demanding that Ford take the video rant down, Daily Mail reported
“I celebrated graduating (not my first time) and getting engaged to the love of my life,” she said, according to the outlet.
“Whilst I appreciate your concerns, I don’t appreciate being spoken for nor do I appreciate these wild assumptions being made about myself and my partner,” Bail added.
Slamming the hate her boyfriend received as “absolutely disappointing,” Bail demanded Ford take down her video, saying, “’it does not represent me or my partner,” Daily Mail reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.