Last night a group of pro-Trump Sydney University students were ejected from the university’s Manning Bar for chanting ‘grab her by the pussy, that’s how we do it’, and ‘build a wall’, after Trump was confirmed to be elected as the 45th President of the United States.
At another pro-Trump event in Sydney, former President of Macquarie University’s Liberal Club, Damien Pace, attended a ‘Trump’s Aussie Mates’ election party hosted by former Liberal MP Ross Cameron at the NSW rugby club in Circular Quay.
Pace, who recently stood down from the MQ Liberal Club presidency after two years, was in attendance with former Vice President of the club, Edwin Nelson, who in April this year was outed by BuzzFeed for linking homosexuality to incest and bestiality on his public Facebook page.
Guardian reporter Bridie Jabour was covering the election party and approached Pace to question him on why he thought many women were not supportive of Trump’s presidential campaign.
Pace told Jabour: ‘the thing you have to realise is, women have been divided on Donald Trump because they have a different temperament. He doesn’t go out of his way to woo women, he just says ‘bam, this is what I think’, and that appeals to men more than women.’
When questioned on the 12 women who have come forward and accused Trump of sexually assaulted them within the last 30 years, Pace suggested that these claims were unsubstantiated.
‘It seems like a concerted effort, there doesn’t seem [to be] too much evidence.’
University Council Representative Kieren Ash confronted Pace on his personal Facebook page, requesting him to elaborate on the comments he had made to the reporter.
In response, Pace accused The Guardian of left-wing bias and described the article as ‘an attack’. Pace elaborated on his confrontation with the reporter, suggesting that he had questioned her on the merits of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
‘I asked the journalist to name two concrete policies that Hillary ran on and she wasn’t able to say any … I said that Hillary only really ran on two ideas. That she’d be the first female president and that she wasn’t a baddy like Trump.’
In addition to Pace’s comments published on The Guardian’s website about women’s temperament, Pace stated on his Facebook page, ‘who did he (Trump) get to announce his maternity leave plan? His daughter, as she has a softer, more nuanced style … [Trump is] direct, confrontational, abrasive, that intuitively appeals more to men.’
Pace also reiterated his belief that the accusations of sexual misconduct and assault were unfounded and without proper evidence. On the tapes that show Trump in conversation with Billy Bush admitting to sexually assaulting a married woman and boasting about groping women, Pace wrote:
‘[It was] all said in a bragging, hyperbolic, and ridiculous/humorous way.’
While Pace questioned the legitimacy of the sexual assault claims against Trump, he suggested that the comments were rather ’embarrassing, objectifying of women and adulterous.’
Courtney Knight, the Macquarie University SRC Women’s Representative, finds Pace’s comments problematic.
‘It is unfortunate that a Macquarie University student promotes the values of a man who we know to be racist, sexist, homophobic, and chauvinistic. Mr Pace’s views however, reflect a much larger social problem and that is the practice of a misogynist rape culture that harms anyone but those of the White Alpha Male stereotype.’
Knight is also a member of the Respect. Now. Always working group, a Macquarie University project aimed at preventing sexual harassment and assault on campus. She says that it is concerning that these comments were made by someone who has, until very recently, held an executive position of a student group.
‘It is genuinely worrying that these values have been given a platform, especially while Macquarie University is currently undergoing improvements to eradicate this hurtful culture and acceptance of similar behaviours.’
When approached by Grapeshot about his comments, Pace said:
‘I thought the Guardian article was disappointing. The journalist knew very little about the political situation in the US and was clearly only there to write a negative article. If you want to know why Trump won, it was because his style connected with the average public. His choice of issues offered the prospect of improving people’s lives and Hilary was an extremely damaged candidate.’