Marielle Leraand

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Leraand in 2012
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Marielle Leraand (1974–) is a Norwegian Maoist and trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF). She is best known as a former deputy leader of Norway's most left-wing political party, Rødt (Red), between 2012 and 2017. She has also been involved with radical feminism for many years, and formerly led the Oslo group of the radfem organization Kvinnegruppa Ottar (Women's Group Ottar). In 2020 she was a co-founder of the transphobic hate group, the Women's Human Rights Campaign (WHRC).[1] WHRC has been described as a hate group by Norway's main LGBT rights group FRIWikipedia.[2]

From socialism to maoism[edit]

Leerand was active in the Sosialistisk Venstreparti (Socialist Left Party) of Norway for several years. Dissatisfied with the socialist party, she joined the Maoist Red party in 2011.[3] In 2012 she became a board member of Red's Oslo chapter and just a few weeks later one of two national deputy leaders of the party.[4] She stepped down in 2017, and was elected the party's spokesperson for women's issues.[5]

From radical feminism to transphobia[edit]

Leraand was involved with radical feminism for years. She was the leader of the Oslo chapter of Kvinnegruppa Ottar (Women's Group Ottar), traditionally the most radical group among two major radfem organizations in Norway. Her tenure as leader of Ottar in Oslo was marked by controversies, which saw the group boycotting the main events on Women's Day in 2012.[6]

In 2020 she was a co-founder of the transphobic hate group WHRC. She is among the first signatories of their founding document, a rambling anti-trans manifesto focused exclusively on denying the reality of trans existence.[1] Internationally the group is well known for its collaboration with the religious far right and its perverse usurpation of the language of 'human rights' in the service of anti-trans bigotry and indeed overt anti-feminism.[7] In Norway WHRC is known for their use of seemingly Westboro Baptist Church-inspired slogans such as "stop heresy in primary schools, girls and women don't have penises" and "only women are women."[8] WHRC also engages in the usual anti-trans harassment, trolling and abusive behavior typical of extreme TERFs on social media. In March 2020, 2,500 progressive Norwegian feminists signed a condemnation of WHRC's transphobia.[9] WHRC has claimed that the main function of Norway's equality ombudsperson Hanne BjurstrømWikipedia is to "discriminate against women," due to her enforcement of legal protections for LGBT people.[10] WHRC members in Norway frequently share material from far-right conspiracy theorists. The group widely shared the "Super Straight" meme, a troll campaign started by neo-Nazi agitators on 4chan to invalidate and mock trans people's gender identities.[11] They also have close links to the conspiracist website Steigan.no and the prominent Holocaust denier Hans Olav Brendberg, with most of the leadership of the group sharing a Facebook post by Brendberg gloating over the collaboration between TERFs and the religious right against trans people.[12]

In connection with women's day in 2021 WHRC was widely condemned by actual feminists for their disruption of the meeting planning that year's event, where the group's representatives engaged in transphobic rants and proposed hideously transphobic slogans. Alberte Bekkhus, the leader of the Red party's own youth wing, said WHRC's transphobia hinders the feminist struggle and that transphobes aren't feminists.[13][8]

As a result of her transphobia and support for conspiracy theories, Leraand has been increasingly marginalized in the Red party in recent years.

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