I went to see my daughter receive her degree, and on reading the program was surprised and alarmed to note that Pussy Riot (a Russian feminist punk band) were being given honorary degrees which I do not believe is appropriate. The woman presenting the degrees proceeded to talk about vaginas to an audience made up of families of all ages, explaining why the Russian punk band called themselves Pussy Riot. It was in poor taste at the minimum and offensive to me – as I sat in the cathedral I considered it verging on blasphemy.
Then we were subjected to a short performance in which four women put on face masks like terrorists to perform in Russian with English translation on screens along the aisles. When they had finished they received a standing ovation from a large proportion of the audience. These same people did not do this for the students – including their own children – who had studied to get their degrees.
Thomas Becket would not approve of such vulgarity.
It was noted that on the live feed of the degree ceremony, the filming concentrated on showing non indigenous people in the audience. My conclusion is that the university put their political agenda before the students. This showed just how willing and sheep-like the audience were, ready to fall in line with the propaganda being rammed down their throats.
We could not show disdain directly as we were a captive audience and there for our children. I personally did not clap or stand so as to show my disapproval.
I hold the history of the cathedral in high esteem, unlike the people who allowed this unholy spectacle. The band have allowed themselves to be used as pawns by the university of Kent.