Christina Ellingsen lives in Norway. She is a feminist and a member of the international women’s rights organization Women’s Declaration International (WDI). Currently, she is being investigated by her country’s police and, if convicted, faces up to three years in prison. What has she done wrong? She said to your face, or rather, on the social platform (Twitter), that a man cannot be a “lesbian.”
The tweets in question, which Ellingsen posted between February 2021 and January 2022, are direct responses to “Christine Marie” Jentoft, a transgender activist and advisor to activist group Foreningen FRI, a man who identifies as a lesbian woman and, together with FRI, advocates for the normalization of practices such as sadomasochism and fetishism.
Christina Ellingsen is accused of hate speech and incitement to hatred on the basis of a Norwegian regulation that came into effect last January, at the time already challenged by WDI precisely because of the drift toward censorship of women’s thought that was discerned in the provisions of the law from the very beginning.
During a debate that took place on Norwegian TV, Ellingsen allegedly addressed Jentoft directly, “You are a man. You cannot be a mother,” she allegedly said. “Normalizing the idea that men can be mothers is a clear form of discrimination against women.” Hence, it seems, the man’s complaint to the authorities.
WDI declared its support for Christina Ellingsen by opening a subscription on her behalf on its website. “The campaign for women’s rights is not a hate crime,” it reads. “Women are adult human females and have human rights and needs based on their sex. In order to define and defend these rights and needs, women must be able to speak openly, be free to call a man a man, claim that only women can be mothers, and say that lesbians are exclusively same-sex attracted women.”
Free to state, in short, that leaves are green in summer.
The Ellingsen affair is reminiscent of another, similar one taking place in the same latitudes, namely of what Päivi Räsänen has been going through. Räsänen, former interior minister of Finland, was accused of “homophobia” for stating her Biblical views of marriage and sexuality, and then acquitted by the Helsinki District Court. However, she is now back in court fighting for her right to freedom of religion and expression, because the Court of Appeal reopened her case.