Filmmaker Faces Three Years In Prison For Saying Men Cannot Be Lesbians, Charged With Hate Speech
December 15, 2022
A Norwegian female lesbian filmmaker and actress, Tonje Gjevjon, is reportedly facing three years in prison on criminal hate-speech charges for saying that a man cannot become a lesbian.
Gjevjon was informed on November 17 this year that she was under investigation for speaking out against prominent Norwegian activist, Christine Jentoft, on Facebook.
Jentoft, who is a transgender female that often refers to herself as a lesbian mother, previously accused another woman identified as Christina Ellingsen, of transphobia for a similar claim.
It was reported that Ellingsen is also under investigation and faces three years in jail if found guilty.
The post on Gjevjon’s Facebook page under investigation read, “It’s just as impossible for men to become a lesbian as it is for men to become pregnant. Men are men regardless of their sexual fetishes.”
The filmmaker, Gjevjon, said she intentionally posted her Facebook message to draw attention to Norway’s hate speech laws, Fox News reports.
It turns out that Gjevjon’s comments appear to be under investigation for falling under a 2020 amendment to the country’s penal code that added “gender identity” and “gender expression” under protected categories from hate speech.
According to the provision of the penal code, people found guilty of hate speech face a fine or up to one year in prison for private remarks, and a maximum of three years for public comments.
But women’s rights activists, including the Women’s Declaration International Norway, of which Ellingsen is a representative, have claimed that the amendment undermined free speech and expression in the country.
It was gathered that this is not the first time that Gjevjon has spoken out on controversial topics surrounding gender and women’s rights, having confronted Norway’s Minister of Culture and Reality, Anette Trettebergstuen, last year, claiming that misconstruing gender identity and biological sex has “harmful” and “discriminatory” implications for women, especially lesbians.
Gjevjon asked, “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?”
Trettebergstuen replied by saying, “I do not share an understanding of reality where the only two biological sexes are to be understood as sex. Gender identity is also important.”
According to the Fox News report, the first discrimination charge in Norway that centred on gender identity was filed in 2018. The case centred on a transgender woman who complained that she was asked not to shower in the woman’s locker room of a sports centre, according to female-led news organisation Reduxx.
Norway is one of the most liberal countries in Europe for LGBTQ individuals, even allowing people to legally change their gender without the need for a medical diagnosis.
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