(WISCONSIN) — This afternoon, it was reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Derrick Van Orden, the GOP Candidate for Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, bragged about sexually harassing two junior female officers during his military service. This revelation comes as an excerpt from his book, “Book of Man: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood.”

In response, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Courtney Beyer released the following statement:

“Derrick Van Orden’s actions and his response to this criticism are deeply disturbing. That he chose to brag about sexually harassing women demonstrates his inability to represent Wisconsinites in Congress with integrity. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable and disqualifying of anybody running for public office.”


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: In book on ‘the Lost Art of Manhood,’ congressional candidate tells of exposing man’s genitals to female officers

  • A retired Navy SEAL challenging a longtime Democratic congressman in western Wisconsin bragged in a 2015 book about revealing a male lieutenant’s enlarged scrotum to unsuspecting female officers.

  • Derrick Van Orden, a Republican from Hager City running for a seat in the third congressional district, wrote about the incident in “Book of Man: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood.”

  • Van Orden says he was providing medical instruction to two officers whom he refers to as “cute girls” in his book.

  • In the book, Van Orden writes about a five-day reconnaissance training mission during which he and other SEALS had to dig holes and burrow out to create “rabbit holes” among bushes and poison oak, which caused breathing problems and swelling — including on testicles.

  • After the training mission was over, he and the lieutenant traveled to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego to get treatment, he wrote. The lieutenant was given a towel to put between his legs.

  • “Here’s this lieutenant sitting behind a little curtain, spread eagle, (scrotum) huge as a cantaloupe, and his eyes swollen nearly shut,” Van Orden wrote. “That’s when I spotted two ensigns, who happened to be young girls in their early twenties.”

  • “‘Excuse me,’ I said to the two cute girls, approaching them. ‘Could I ask you something'” “‘Sure,’ one of them answered.”

  • “After walking them over to the outside of the lieutenant’s location, I whipped the curtain back. ‘Have you ever seen anything like this?’ I asked. They gasped in horror as they saw the LT in all of his glory. I’m sure they never wanted to have anything to do with a man ever again.”

  • Van Orden did not describe the women as medical officers in the book.

  • Kind called the episode sexual harassment.

  • His sexual harassment detailed in his book is not something to brag about, it’s something to be condemned,” Kind said in a statement. “It’s outrageous and wrong. These aren’t the values I was raised with here in Wisconsin and it’s not how my wife and I raised our two sons to treat others. This is not the behavior of someone who should be representing Wisconsin in Congress.”

  • Ellen Haring, a retired Army colonel, West Point graduate, and professor at Georgetown University who specializes in research focused on women and gender in the military, said if the female ensigns were not medical staff the behavior would have constituted sexual harassment.

  • Haring said referring to the officers, who were his superiors, as “cute girls” is problematic.

  • “That’s ridiculously demeaning,” Haring said. “He’s an enlisted Navy SEAL, who is he to call medical staff, women officers, ‘cute girls’? That’s a problem for me.”

  • [Van Orden] also wrote he won’t entertain a discussion of how this book “can be construed as misogynistic,” noting he was raised by a single mother.

  • “I love my mother dearly and respect her as a human being,” he wrote. “She is, in fact, one of the better fathers a guy could have.”

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