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|Spectra and binaries|
“”TERF and transphobia are in fact appropriate descriptions of Gjevjon's arguments. She contrasts women's rights with transgender rights, claims that trans women are not women and argues on the basis of her own, irrational fears.
|—Martine Aurdal, Dagbladet|
Tonje Gjevjon (1967–) is a Norwegian trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF), Internet troll and conspiracy theorist. She has become the main public face of TERF ideology, transphobia and the anti-gender movement in Norway since 2017, and is the founder of around half a dozen anti-trans groups, including the Norwegian branch of the notorious transphobic hate group, the deceptively named "Women's Human Rights Campaign" (WHRC). WHRC has notably been described as a hate group by Norway's main LGBT rights group FRI. She is also highly active in anti-LGBT trolling. A case in point among the toxic TERF community, Gjevjon has been consumed by the struggle against trans people and spends every waking moment peddling transphobia on Twitter and Facebook, and says she has been deplatformed by everyone from the Conservative Party to the maoists due to her transphobia. Her transphobia has led her to increasingly ally herself with the anti-feminist far right, Christian fundamentalism and other conspiracist causes, illustrating how TERF ideology "provides an entry point into far-right politics." She has explicitly said that she views "conservative Christians" as allies in the struggle against trans people. She also has a history of racist trolling. Gjevjon is a former performance artist and claims to be a visual artist, although her art is primarily focused on peddling hate against trans people and other minorities. Her art career has struggled recently as a result of her transphobia and the cancellations of her work by the few minor art institutions that used to exhibit her. Her main collaborator in her transphobic crusade is the alt-right troll Christina Eline Ellingsen.
A self-described lesbian radical feminist, she broke ties with Norway's mainstream LGBT rights group to establish around half a dozen organizations dedicated solely to the struggle against trans people. The "lesbian erasure" conspiracy theory seems to be a major motivating factor behind her transphobia.
Gender studies scholars Janne Bromseth, Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen, Lin Prøitz, Katrina Roen and Stine H. Bang Svendsen wrote that "Gjevjon's repeated attacks on trans-identity and trans-rights in the media" are representative of "TERF rhetoric, or 'trans-exclusionary radical feminism'". The prominent feminist pundit Martine Aurdal of the liberal daily Dagbladet wrote that Gjevjon is a key representative of transphobia and TERF ideology in Norway, who argues on the basis of her irrational fears of transgender people. Emilie Kristine Krumsvik noted that "Gjevjon argues from a biological essentialist perspective" and that she has been widely condemned for her transphobic attitudes by professionals, activists and feminists.
“”Transphobes love creating "organizations" with silly names like "Women's Human Rights Organization" or "Parent Network for This and That." It is still the same 5–6 idiots who create all of them, and the "organizations" mostly exist on social media.
“”I wonder how many organizations she has been involved with that have names inspired by Monthy Pythons' "Life of Brian" (...) the list of organizations that she is one of the few members of is long
Gjevjon is known for constantly starting new "organizations," mostly with the same handful of members. She is the founder, co-founder or otherwise a key figure within the following transphobic organizations and webshites:
| Lesbisk Forbund
|a tiny group with literally a handful of members, concerned only with the anti-trans struggle and the "lesbian erasure" conspiracy theory. It is a microscopic splinter group consisting of transphobes who have left FRI.|
| Ny Lesbisk Bevegelse
(New Lesbian Movement)
|a splinter group from the above splinter group (SRSLY!) founded by Gjevjon. Also only concerned with the anti-trans struggle and the "lesbian erasure" conspiracy theory. It literally uses the face of transphobic troll Magdalen Berns (banned from numerous LGBT groups and women's groups for her anti-LGBT bigotry) as its logo. The group explicitly supports Posie Parker and other extremists who call for violence against trans women. It also uses all the usual anti-trans memes and dog whistles, e.g. "adult human female."|
| LLH 2019
|a T-less "LGB" group and a Norwegian counterpart to the LGB Alliance. It has deliberately usurped a historical name of FRI, Norway's main (and trans-inclusive) LGBT rights group. However, LLH 2019 only consists of a handful of aging transphobes. The board members are Gjevjon, Loke Aashamar and Ola Movinkel. All have a long history of both anti-LGBT and racist hate speech and trolling. Unsurprisingly, the group has received gleeful support from homophobic fundamentalist Christians who have incorrectly claimed it represents a major split in the LGBT community, although FRI has 500 times the membership that LLH 2019 has|
|Women's Human Rights Campaign Norway||a Norwegian branch of the bizarrely-named transphobic hate group founded by Sheila Jeffreys. Internationally known for its collaboration with the far right and for being banned from a UN event for being a hate group in 2021, the group primarily consists of boomer-generation lesbians who for some reason hate trans women. The group is known in Norway for its seemingly WBC-inspired slogans such as "Stop heresy in primary schools, girls and women don't have penises" and "only women are women". Notable co-founders include Kari Jaquesson, Anne Kalvig, Christina Eline Ellingsen, Tina Skotnes, Marielle Leraand, Kamilla Aslaksen and Oline Margrethe Rustad.|
|a webshite and Facebook group dedicated to peddling fear of trans people, accompanied by amateurish and rather creepy illustrations by Tonje Gjevjon|
| Trygg i kroppen
(Safe/confident in the body)
|a webshite that promotes conversion therapy for trans/queer kids to make them straight. In 2019 Gjevjon also furiously opposed a proposal by the Norwegian Labour Party to ban conversion therapy.|
(The Women Activists)
|originally a splinter group from the TERF-leaning radfem group Kvinnegruppa Ottar (Women's Group Ottar) led by disgruntled Maoist Jane Nordlund, now closely allied and intertwined with Gjevjon's other organizations/webshites/activities|
| JA til tokjønnsmodellen, NEI til radikal kjønnsideologi
(FOR the Two-Gender Model, AGAINST radical gender ideology)
|Initiated and led by Gjevjon, this is an unholy alliance of TERFs and Christian fundamentalists who oppose what they call "radical gender ideology", not unlike anti-gender organizations in countries like Poland and Hungary. They collected a few thousand signatures, mostly from Christian fundamentalists, that they delivered to populist right-wing parliamentarians in Norway|
She was also the deputy chair of Forbund 48 (Alliance 48), a tiny splinter group from Norway's main LGBT rights group. However, in reponse to her transphobic activism the group's chair Hilde Lysbakken said Gjevjon would be replaced with a person who had "a healthy relationship to human variations in sexual expression and self-image."
Alignment with the far right
Gjevjon actively advocates cooperation with the far right in the war against trans rights. She has also increasingly adopted other concpiracist and far-right views. In that regard she illustrates the observation of philosopher Christa Peterson, who has noted that anti-trans ideology has "solidified over time" into embracing other and more explicit conspiracy theories and that "today, this rhetoric provides an entry point into far-right politics."
For example, Gjevjon's groups have close ties to the conspiracist and increasingly racist webshite Steigan.no and to the Norwegian Holocaust denier Hans Olav Brendberg. Gjevjon and numeorous other WHRC members shared a Facebook post by Brendberg, where he poses with the "Shoananas" symbol of Holocaust denial and gloats over the cooperation between TERFs and the religious right against trans people. Brendberg is well known for having been ousted from Norway's two Maoist parties (AKP and Rødt) for anti-semitism in the early 2000s, and has been a prominent conspiracy theorist ever since. Gjevjon's groups and webshites have 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. Her groups even reference the meme in their e-mail addresses by including the word "super." WHRC has bizarrely claimed that the main function of Norway's equality ombudsperson Hanne Bjurstrøm is to "discriminate against women," due to her enforcement of legal protections for LGBT people. The group has also accused Norway's main LGBT rights organization FRI of being a "government-funded fantasy machine" dedicated to "spreading lies".
Further illustrating the convergence of the far right and the far left, the far-right anti-immigrant webshite Document.no, owned by Hans Rustad and best known for inspiring Anders Behring Breivik, published an article praising Gjevjon as a "leading feminist" (depite the fact that she has been condemned by Norwegian feminists in the thousands), and gleefully noting how the anti-trans views of TERFs and the far right aligned. Rustad is the father of Gjevjon's associate, fellow TERF and WHRC co-founder Oline Rustad, and himself made a rather similar ideological journey from maoism to wingnut bigotry and Islamophobia.
Gjevjon and her close associates, particularly aging transphobes and men's rights activists Ola Movinkel and Loke Aashamar, frequently use rhetoric reminiscent of Islamophobic and anti-immigrant discourse, indicating their involvement with more than just one hateful cause. For example, Movinkel is quite fond of referring to LGBT rights groups and mainstream society as the "queer caliphate." Loke Aashamar (whose given name sounds just as menacing to Norwegians) is a writer for the alt-right publication Resett.no, where he typically writes racist articles about "African immigrants raping Norwegian girls." Aashamar also has a history of making overtly misogynist comments, e.g. by mocking women who are the victims of violence.
Gjevjon herself published a racist drawing mocking Plan International for awarding its Girl Prize to both ethnic and sexual minorities, accompanied by a series of hateful comments, such as "great that a disheveled adult lesbian man with blue hair can be considered for the prize" followed by four "penis comments" about the genitalia of the young trans woman – half Gjevjon's age – who had been nominated for the prize.
Gjevjon's Facebook friends tellingly include Holocaust denier Hans Olav Brendberg, alt-right trolls Lilith Keogh and Shurika Hansen (affiliated with Resett.no) and notorious TERF Maya Forstater, along with a long list of other extremists and bigots.
Gjevjon's Facebook biography reads simply "ADULT HUMAN FEMALE", a meme created by far-right activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull ("Posie Parker"), who calls for violence against trans women and girls by "men with guns" and who is so extreme that even Julie Bindel has called her "a thick feck who is a bigot and NOT a feminist". Admitting that the online war against trans people is their main calling in life, Ellingsen and Gjevjon have said that "we watch Posie Parker's program every night."
Gjevjon's two voices
“”It sounds so convincing, for those who do not understand the hatred and exclusion that may lie behind
|—Feminist on Gjevjon's deliberately toned-down concern trolling|
Gjevjon deliberately speaks with two voices. On her social media accounts and in her own groups she makes no secret of her fanatical hatred of trans people, and her willingness to align herself with people who call for violence against them. In op-eds and more public statements she often appears as a concern troll. For those familiar with her expressly stated hateful views and anti-LGBT trolling in social media, it's easy to see through her disingenuous concern trolling in newspapers like Aftenposten. However, those who are not familiar with her or with LGBT issues may take her concern trolling at face value, which is also her goal. Gjevjon is like the outspoken Nazi who calls for the extermination of Jews in their own Facebook groups, while also writing more toned-down op-eds in larger newspaper purporting to only be concerned for the wellbeing of their children.
“”I was shocked at what unfolded in our comments section. We had to delete numerous comments. Our [Facebook] page can not be a hotbed of hate speech against trans people
|—Hanne Bjurstrøm, Norway's Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud, on WHRC anti-trans trolling|
Like other TERFs Gjevjon deliberately conflates her transphobic views with feminism, ignoring the fact that Norwegian feminists have widely condemned the transphobia she espouses as anti-feminist and that most feminists wouldn't touch her or her hate crowd with a barge pole.
In March 2020, 2,500 progressive Norwegian feminists signed a condemnation of Gjevjon's and WHRC's transphobia. In connection with women's day in 2021 WHRC was widely condemned by actual feminists for its disruption of the meeting planning that year's event, where WHRC members engaged in transphobic rants and proposed hideously transphobic slogans. Alberte Bekkhus, the leader of the Red Youth, said WHRC's transphobia hinders the feminist struggle and that transphobes aren't feminists. The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud has also robustly condemned the transphobia promoted by Gjevjon and other WHRC trolls in social media.
Gjevjon's close associate, WHRC's vice chair Anne Kalvig, has claimed that "the Criminal Code, the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud and a whole range of other representatives of the kweer patriarchy attempt to silence us!" Feminist scholar Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen has compared WHRC to the far-right anti-gender movement in Hungary and Poland.
Gjevjon says she once met Bent Høie, Norway's Minister of Health, who rightly told her that deplatforming of transphobes such as herself is a small price to pay to ensure the rights of the vulnerable group that she relentlessly attacks.
Gjevjon tends to accuse women who do not share her transphobia of "suffering from the Handmaiden syndrome," the TERF term for non-transphobic cis women.
Gjevjon likes to describe herself as an artist, and more specifically a performance artist and visual artist. Her art is primarily focused on peddling anti-trans hate. One of her projects is the Hungry Hearts Performance Band, that consists exclusively of lesbians who are also involved with Gjevjon's various transphobic projects. She also likes to draw creepy "illustrations", that she frequently uses in her transphobic crusade, e.g. on her anti-trans webshite Matriarken. She often uses her illustrations to denigrate trans people and other people she dislikes.
Her art career has struggled as a result of her transphobia. She says she has been deplatformed and cancelled by the art institutions and by everyone from the Conservative Party to Norway's maoist party and LGBT rights groups due to her transphobia. Her performance group Hungry Hearts has been cancelled due to transphobia and doesn't seem to exist any longer, other than as a group of transphobic activists. In 2018, a scheduled exhibition by Gjevjon at Haugar Art Museum was cancelled by the museum due to the transphobic statements it contained.
- ‘Gender critical feminist’ Posie Parker wants men with guns to start using women’s toilets
- Martine Aurdal: "Transfobi på norsk", Dagbladet 27 July 2017.
- Christina Ellingsen: "Is safeguarding our children from sex groups a hate crime?" [Warning: Hate website] ("This week the leader of the Women’s Human Rights Campaign in Norway (WHRC) found herself at the main police station in Oslo after being accused of a hate crime")
- Antisemitism Meets Transphobia
- "Lesbisk feminist ser konservative kristne som allierte" [Lesbian feminist views conservative Christians as allies], Dagen, 26 February 2020
- Collection of hateful comments by Tonje Gjevjon, Ola Movinkel and Loke Aashamar (thread) (archived)
- Janne Bromseth, Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen, Lin Prøitz, Katrina Roen og Stine H. Bang Svendsen: "Fem forskere svarer Tonje Gjevjon: Fordomsfull kunnskapsløshet om kjønnsmangfold", Blazer Fanzine (feminist magazine)
- Emilie Kristine Krumsvik (2019): Gender Affirmative Monopoly, CUNY, p. 12 and 23
- Facebook update
- Nye LLH 2019 mot transrettigheter, Blikk
- En løfterik splittelse
- "Slår tilbake mot anklagene om å være hatefull mot transkvinner" [Hits back against accusations of being hateful towards trans women] Klassekampen 12 February 2021, p. 8
- Norwegian TERF tries to stop new law against conversion therapy
- Engesbak, Reidar (31 July 2020). "Tonje Gjevjon ut av Forbund 48". Blikk.
- Elling Borgersrud (25 July 2020). "Steigan.no er blitt en rasistisk blogg som ødelegger for venstresida: Her er hvorfor" [Steigan.no has become a racist blog that damages the political left: Here's why]
- Facebook post by Hans Olav Brendberg gloating over the collaboration between TERFs and the religious right against trans people, liked and shared by most of the leadership of WHRC Norway
- Tweet by Didrid Søderlind of the Norwegian Humanist Association about Hans Olav Brendberg
- Reddit finally clamps down on transphobic ‘super straight’ trend after neo-Nazi links emerge
- WHRC on the equality ombud "discriminating against women" by enforcing legal protections for LGBT people
- Tweet of 27 March 2021
- Opprop for inkluderende kvinnekamp
- "Svensk feminist: Kvinner taper på at kjønn relativiseres". Document.no, 31 March 2021 [link to extremist website deliberately ommitted]
- Gender Critical grifter Posie Parker invites gun-carrying men into women’s toilets to “protect women”
- The “gender-critical feminist” movement appears to be falling apart at the seams. Here’s why
- Matriarken (Ellingsen/Gjevon) on Posie Parker
- Ulike meninger er OK, å spre transhat er forbudt, Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud
- Alberte Bekkhus: Transfobi hindrer kvinnekampen [Transphobia hinders the feminist struggle]
- "Tre venner av meg er transpersoner. Én av dem vil forsøke å ta livet sitt" [Three of my friends are trans. One of them attempt to take their own life], Tønsbergs Blad, 18 August 2018, p. 9
- Elisabeth Lund Engebretsen on Anne Kalvig's transphobia
- Tweet by Tonje Gjevjon ("Norwegian Health minister @BentHHoyre who is gay told me when I met him briefly at NRK that no- platforming of women is A small prize to pay to ensure the rights for men who identify as women")
- Grønneberg, Anders (30 January 2018). "Lesbisk feminist i kunstkrangel: - Folk blir jo krenket av alt"