Jessica Yaniv Growing Bolder in "Her" Bid to have Male Genitals Touched and Waxed
If the international controversy and media storm swirling around Jessica Yaniv is unsettling her, she does a great job of hiding it.
The now infamous transgender woman, who has taken 16 estheticians to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal for refusing to wax her male genitals, seems to be enjoying the notoriety and media interview requests streaming in from as far away as Israel and particularly from the U.K., where some of the tweets following news reports are fond of using the British term “bollocks” in every sense of that word.
Reached via telephone at her Walnut Grove home near the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, Yaniv says she is just as determined as ever “to cement the rights of trans people” as she was when she started this controversial fight.
“There’s a lot of interest in me right now,” said Yaniv, 32, who has had numerous racist comments made by her exposed online.
When asked why she didn’t just go to businesses that performed Brazilian waxes for male genitalia, she rejected the fact that special training is necessary.
Yaniv says she received a Brazilian wax at the Merle Norman salon in Langley but was denied that same service at the Merle Norman salon in Burnaby. She ended up filing a human rights complaint against the Burnaby salon — which has since shut down.
Did that business close because of her complaint?
“I really believe it did,” she boasted. She said another hair salon had to close because of her complaints, as did a home-based business.
Doesn’t she feel badly for those women who lost their jobs and their businesses because of her?
“No, why should I feel bad?” she said. “The one who was the victim here was me. The way that I see it, all women should receive the same service.”
And therein lies the problem. While Yaniv self-identifies as a woman, do people who provide intimate services have to accept a client’s self identification if their genitals are not changed and those services involve one’s private parts? It’s one thing to use someone’s preferred personal pronouns. It’s quite another thing to be forced to wax their testicles.
“People who invoke fundamental human rights like freedom of belief and religion cannot cherry pick which rights they want, depending on their preferences,” continued Yaniv.
So, is it a human right to have your privates waxed by women who don’t want to wax your privates?
Yaniv wouldn’t answer that question directly. “Some of these places started turning me down for facials once they learned I was trans,” she said. If that’s true, that would be wrong for a public salon, but I think we can all agree that being forced to handle someone’s testicles is quite different from touching their face.
Also, aside from this case and any issues involving gender diversity, just imagine the danger women could be exposed to if the tribunal says women with these types of home-based businesses must accept anyone who asks for intimate services into their homes. We have cases of men murdering women real-estate agents, for heaven’s sake, who were working alone showing houses for sale. Will women be forced to risk their own safety?
As far as this case goes, Calgary lawyer Jay Cameron — who is representing five of the 16 female respondents — says some of these women work from home and they don’t want to perform intimate services on individuals with male genitalia in their homes. That should be their right.
Cameron — who works for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms and is representing these women pro bono before the quasi-judicial kangaroo court that our human rights commissions have turned into — says many of these women don’t know how to wax male genitalia, they don’t have the specialized equipment to do so and, what’s more, they don’t want to.
During the multi-day hearing in Vancouver, Cameron called Angie Barnetson, the owner of Manscape Spa in Victoria, as an expert witness on July 4, to testify about how difficult it is to wax male genitals.
Barnetson, who also teaches esthetics at a Victoria college, rejected Yaniv’s claim Wednesday that waxing men’s genitals is no more difficult than waxing women’s.
“Yaniv is very misinformed,” said Barnetson, who was accepted as an expert by the tribunal.
Performing a Brazilian wax on a man is “much trickier and more time consuming. It’s kind of like comparing a gynecologist and a urologist — apples and oranges,” said Barnetson, who was reached Wednesday evening.
Cameron says many of the women respondents are impoverished, recent immigrants of colour and they are petrified by this process.