On Tuesday, Jessica Yaniv, a biological male who identifies as a woman, lost his legal battle to force women to give him a Brazilian wax. After multiple female estheticians refused to wax his genitals because of his male anatomy, he filed human rights complaints, claiming that they engaged in discrimination against him due to his transgender identity.
“Human rights legislation does not require a service provider to wax a type of genitals they are not trained for and have not consented to wax,” the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled.
The tribunal also ruled that Yaniv “engaged in improper conduct,” “filed complaints for improper purposes,” and concluded his testimony was “disingenuous and self-serving.” Indeed, the ruling includes sections outlining the transgender provocateur’s “use of deception,” “financial motivation,” and “racial animus.”
Yaniv presented himself as a woman when he first reached out to estheticians. As for financial motivation, he filed 15 complaints against various estheticians in the Vancouver area, seeking as much as $15,000 in damages against each one. As for racial animus, he made numerous public comments condemning immigrants. At the hearings, he argued that immigrants use their religion to discriminate against transgender people because they refused to wax the male genitals of those who identify as women.
“Self-identification does not erase physiological reality,” Jay Cameron, litigation manager at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which represented the estheticians, said in a statement on the victory. “Our clients do not offer the service requested. No woman should be compelled to touch male genitals against her will, irrespective of how the owner of the genitals identifies.”
The Justice Centre represented Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge and its Sikh owner, Sandeep Banipal, who has not been trained to wax male genitals and testified that she is uncomfortable with doing so. The center also represented Sukhi Hehar Gill, a Sikh woman who testified that it is “contrary to my faith” to provide waxing services to males. Gill was forced to shut down her business after Yaniv’s antics.
The Justice Centre also represented Marcia Carnauba, an esthetician who cancelled Yaniv’s appointment because she was suspicious of his behavior. She lacks the necessary training, tools, and comfort level to wax male genitals. Like Gill, Carnauba closed her business after Yaniv’s complaint.
The tribunal ordered Yaniv to pay these women $2,000 each in damages.
While this ruling is a welcome victory for women’s rights and for freedom of conscience in Canada, the damages awarded seem rather small compared to the harm Yaniv caused. Worse, a publication ban had identified the provocateur only as JY for most of the proceedings until the estheticians got it lifted.
Yaniv has been accused of sexual harassment against young girls. Tragically, Twitter banned Canadian journalist Meghan Murphy for merely identifying Yaniv as the provocateur in the case. Transgender activists have also gotten the Wikipedia page about Yaniv’s attempts to force women to wax his genitals scrubbed from the internet.
Yaniv does not represent all transgender people, but his antics serve as an important reminder that transgender activism leaves women vulnerable to biological males invading their spaces — and even forcing them to handle their genitals.
As the Justice Centre noted in its news release on the ruling, an expert in genital waxing testified that estheticians who have not been trained to wax male genitals should refuse any such requests, as untrained attempts to wax male genitals pose “the risk of serious injury to the customer.” Furthermore, “the necessary prolonged manipulation of a client’s [genitals] often results in sexual arousal and a request for sexual services.”
In other words, this is not just a training issue or a religious freedom issue, but also a sexual assault issue — if that were not abundantly clear already.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.