Columbia Pachyderms president under fire for objectifying tweet

Columbia Pachyderms President Fred Berry tweeted about his view of the “Delta Gamma VNB’s,” which the Mizzou College Democrats interpreted to mean “very nice butts.”

After posting an objectifying tweet during the MU homecoming parade, Columbia Pachyderms President Fred Berry has been called on to resign, according to an Oct. 13 release by Progress Missouri.

The post included a photo of Delta Gamma sorority sisters from behind with the caption, “This is my view of the Mizzou Homecoming Parade Today--Delta Gamma VNB’s.” After the tweet was brought to the attention of the Mizzou College Democrats, they interpreted the acronym “VNB’s” to mean “very nice butts,” according to an Oct. 12 Columbia Tribune article.

“VNB” was a comment “on their obvious athletic build,” Berry said in the Columbia Tribune article.

Mizzou College Republicans President Skyler Roundtree said Berry’s tweet was a symptom of the “gap in communication between our generation and Fredricks.”

“Being that we live in a digital age, whenever something hits the internet — it is open for mass interpretation,” Roundtree said. “I've had a conversation in the past with Frederick, and to the best of my knowledge, he is a very nice man.”

Berry’s discrepancies with social media is not a new problem for the candidate for the 46th House District. In 2012, he tweeted that communism is taught to students in public schools, along with accusing Democrats of wanting “blacks enslaved or aborted.”

“Certainly Berry has a history of extremism in terms of his political perspective,” Progress Missouri spokesman Kevin Garner said. “Unfortunately, that took its toll by sending out a very objectifying and sexist tweet during the MU homecoming parade,”

Progress Missouri urged Boone County representatives Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, and Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, to call on Berry to resign in the release.

“If Rowden, Bayse and other Republicans let comments such as these go by without criticism, it is obvious their political allegiance matters more than respecting women,” the release stated.

Roundtree agreed that the post offended certain people, but suggested that Delta Gammas did not first take offence to the tweet.

“The first to raise this controversy over the caption were the College Democrats,” Roundtree said. “It seems to me as if they care less about Frederick's reasoning behind the tweet, and more about causing a controversy and ruining this veteran & grandfather of eight's name and reputation.”

Earlier this year, Former Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, resigned after being accused of sexually harassing two interns. Former Republican House Speaker John Diehl also stepped down for allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages with a teenage intern.

“I think that Mr. Berry’s tweet reflects a level of objectification of women that unfortunately seems to be the norm in Jefferson City politics, and that his tweet should result in his resignation or other members in his party calling on him to resign,” Garner said.

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