Canadian transwoman loses case against beauticians who refused to wax her (male) genitals

Canadian transwoman loses case against beauticians who refused to wax her (male) genitals

A few months ago I wrote about a Canadian transwoman named Jessica Yaniv who filed more than a dozen human rights complaints on the grounds that female beauticians who offered “Brazillian” waxing services refused to wax her (male) genitalia. Eventually, several of Yaniv’s complaints made it to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. Today, the group which defended five of those beauticians announced it had won the case:

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms ( is pleased to announce that the BC Human Rights Tribunal has ruled in favour of home estheticians’ right to refuse to handle male genitalia against their will…

In March 2018 Yaniv approached the estheticians and requested a “Brazilian” to remove pubic hair from the groin area. When the estheticians refused to provide the requested service due to a lack of personal comfort, safety concerns, a lack of training, and/or religious objections, Yaniv filed complaints against them alleging discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. In total, Yaniv filed 15 complaints against various estheticians in the Vancouver area seeking as much as $15,000 in damages against each esthetician…

“Self-identification does not erase physiological reality,” stated Jay Cameron, the Justice Centre’s Litigation Manager, and counsel for the estheticians. “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 decision not only sides with the beauticians, but also concludes that Yaniv filed the complaints in bad faith, i.e. she did it for financial gain:

I find that Ms. Yaniv’s predominant motive in filing her waxing complaints is not to prevent or remedy alleged discrimination, but to target small businesses for personal financial gain…

In 10 out of her 13 waxing complaints, Ms. Yaniv initially sought the same remedy: an apology and $3,000 in damages…

Overall, Ms. Yaniv’s comments about settlement and her behaviour throughout the process supports that she targeted small businesses, manufactured the conditions for a human rights complaint, and then leveraged that complaint to pursue a financial settlement from parties who were unsophisticated and unlikely to mount a proper defence.

In addition to seeking financial compensation, Ms. Yaniv sought to use these complaints as a method to punish the Respondents. This is reflected in the language she used in some complaints to describe the remedy she was seeking as a “penalty”. It is also clear from Ms. Yaniv’s pattern of conduct in respect of many of the Respondents. She warned Ms. Moin specifically: “you’re going to be in trouble”. She told Ms. Tran that “discriminatory people need not to be in business”, suggesting that she intended to sabotage or threaten the business.

When I wrote about Yaniv in August I noted that during one of her appearances before the tribunal she had compared the beautician’s refusal to wax her genitalia to Nazism. The tribunal points to this and other comments Yaniv made as signs that she has a racial animus against women of Asian descent.

Finally, the tribunal concludes that Yaniv will pay three of the beauticians $2,000 each, though before coming to that number the author argues a much higher award could be defended given Yaniv’s behavior:

Several factors suggest that a high costs award may be appropriate to denounce Ms. Yaniv’s conduct and deter similar behaviour in the future. Her improper conduct has taken multiple forms and impacted a number of complaints. She has hurt the Respondents by filing these complaints for improper purposes. Her conduct has had a significant impact on the Tribunal’s process, taking up a lot of its scarce time and resources. Ms. Yaniv deliberately sought to weaponize the Tribunal for financial gain and to punish individuals and groups.

Yaniv got off pretty easy. She harassed more than a dozen private businesses for personal gain, wasted everyone’s time, and wound up only paying $6,000 for doing so.

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