A Norwegian feminist is being investigated for reportedly criticizing a trans activist on Twitter and is now facing three years in prison on hate crime charges.
According to the feminist news outlet Reduxx, Christina Ellingsen sent tweets to Christine Marie Jentoft, a representative of the trans-female activist group Foreningen FRI, between February 2021 and January 2022.
Jentoft was reportedly born a biological male but now identifies as a lesbian woman.
Ellingsen, who is a representative of the global feminist organization Women's Declaration International (WDI), tweeted, "Why (does) FRI teach young people that males can be lesbians? Isn't that conversion therapy?"
Another tweet, which is reportedly being categorized as hate speech reads, "Jentoft, who is male and 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?"
Amnesty International Norway has also accused Ellingsen of harassing Jentoft on TV after saying that the trans activist was a male, Reduxx reports.
"You are a man. You cannot be a mother," Ellingsen reportedly said to Jentoft. "To normalize the idea that men can be mothers is a defined form of discrimination against women."
Jentoft filed a complaint with police which led law enforcement to question Ellingsen.
#LetWomenSpeak ! Norwegian police has opened an investigation against Norway's country contacts for @DeclarationOn, Christina Ellingsen, over tweets stating that men cannot be women. The accounts that has made such statements include @_cellingsen, @wdiNorway and @MatriarkenN .
— WDI Norge (@wdiNorway) May 17, 2022
"I am under police investigation for campaigning for women's rights, because to certain groups, the fact that women and girls are female and that men cannot be women, girls, mothers or lesbians, is considered hateful," Ellingsen told Reduxx.
"Women are not protected against hate speech in Norway, but men who claim to be both lesbian and a woman, are protected both on the grounds of gender identity and on the grounds of sexual orientation," Ellingsen added.
"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."
Norway added "gender identity" into its hate crime laws in January 2021. WDI had cautioned that adjusting the hate crime laws could result in persecution for citing basic facts.