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Norwegian artist Tonje Gjevjon faces criminal charges, being investigated for saying, ‘men are men, cannot be lesbians’

Gjevjon stated that she intentionally posted her Facebook message to draw attention to Norway's hate speech statute. The legislation was changed in 2020 when the country's parliament agreed to make hate speech against transgender individuals illegal.

A woman in Norway is confronted with criminal charges and a possible three-year jail term for claiming that males cannot be lesbians. Tonje Gjevjon, a lesbian artist, was notified by police on November 17 that she was being investigated for hate speech in connection with a Facebook post she made.

In her post, Gjevjon wrote against trans-identified men who term themselves as “lesbians” and denounced trans activists who seek to jail women who disagree with gender ideology. “It’s just as impossible for men to become lesbian as it is for men to become pregnant,” Gjevjon wrote, “Men are men regardless of their sexual fetishes”

She singled out the acts of Christine Jentoft, a renowned Norwegian trans activist who claims to be a lesbian mother and took a job as a spokesman for the country’s biggest trans activist organization, Foreningen FRI.

Screenshot of Facebook post written by Gjevjon

Jentoft has been at the heart of a conflict between feminist campaigners and Norway’s hate speech statute, which was amended in 2020. The changes, which came into place last year, included the category of “gender identity or gender expression” – a move that women’s rights activists in the country warned would stifle free speech, particularly when it came to the realities of biological sex.

Gjevjon stated that she intentionally posted her Facebook message to draw attention to Norway’s hate speech statute. The legislation was changed in 2020 when the country’s parliament agreed to make hate speech against transgender individuals illegal. Gjevjon is also not the first person to face prosecution for stating the reality that males cannot be mothers or lesbians. Christina Ellingsen, a representative of Women’s Declaration International (WDI) Norway had also earlier stated that men can neither be lesbians nor mothers.

Last year, Gjevjon asked Anette Trettebergstuen, a Labour Party MP, what she proposed to protect the rights of women and girls. She also inquired whether guys might be lesbians. “I believe it is absolutely necessary to place biological sex as the basis in all contexts where sex has legal, cultural, or practical relevance, and that equating sex with gender identity has harmful, discriminatory consequences for women and girls – especially lesbians,” Gjevjon said in her question.

She added, “will the Equality Minister take action to ensure that lesbian women’s human rights are safeguarded, by making it clear that there are no lesbians with penises, that males cannot be lesbians regardless of their gender identity, and by tidying up the mess of the harmful gender policies left behind by the previous government?”

“I do not share a notion of reality in which the only two biological sexes are to be understood as sex,” Trettebergstuen said, “Gender identity is also crucial.” Reports mention that Gjevjon is being forced out of the art world because of her opinions, despite the fact that she had been a prominent part of the music and art establishment for almost 15 years.

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