A representative of the Norweigan feminist organization Women’s Declaration International (WDI) is facing prison time for allegedly “hateful” tweets she made between February 2021 and January 2022.
The tweets in question were written by Christina Ellingsen and directed at Christine Marie Jentoft, a representative of transgender activist group Foreningen FRI. Jentoft is a transgender woman who identifies as a lesbian.
Ellingsen’s tweets challenged FRI’s advocacy for the belief that biological men can become lesbians, which led to the ongoing investigation. If found guilty, Ellingsen could face a prison sentence of up to three years.
“Why [does] FRI teach young people that males can be lesbians? Isn’t that conversion therapy?” Ellingsen tweeted in October 2021.
Norway updated its “hate crime” laws in January 2021 by introducing “gender identity” as a protected class. Under the updated law, any dispute over gender identity could be deemed “discriminatory” and result in prison time.
WDI had previously argued that introducing “gender identity” into the law would result in the persecution of women for stating biological facts.
A second tweet from Ellingson criticized Jentoft’s decision to identify as a lesbian.
“Jentoft, who is a male is an advisor in FRI, presents himself as a lesbian – that’s how bonkers the organization which supposedly works to protect young lesbians’ interests is. How does it help young lesbians when males claim to be lesbian, too?” Ellingsen wrote.
Amnesty International Norway recently accused Ellingsen of harassing Jentoft after calling the latter a male on national television.
“You are a man. You cannot be a mother,” Ellingsen said to Jentoft, “To normalize the idea that men can be mothers is a defined form of discrimination against women.”
Ellingsen told Reduxx that the police were investigating her “for campaigning for women’s rights,” adding that “to certain groups, the fact that women and girls are female and that men cannot be women, girls, mothers or lesbians, is considered hateful.”
“The fact that police are legally able to investigate and persecute women who engage in women’s rights is concerning,” she added. “This is new territory in Norway, so the outcome of the investigation is important, both if the case is dismissed and if it leads to trial.”
There is a precedent of a similar case in Norway. In 2021, a Norwegian man was jailed for three weeks and handed a fine for being found guilty of “misgendering” and insulting a person who identifies as transgender on Facebook.
The Dallas Express reached out to Foreningen FRI, Public Citizen, Every Texan, and the Transgender Education Network of Texas for comment but did not receive a response.