When 32-year-old Jessica Yaniv, a transgender woman, went to a beauty clinic to get a Brazilian bikini wax, she found the beauticians refusing her service because they did not know how to wax male genitals. Although the beauticians said they were not discriminating against Yaniv on the basis of her “gender identity,” the transgender activist has decided to take the beauticians to court, claiming that she was the victim of discrimination.
Yaniv was told at the time she sought the beauty service that the beauticians were not trained to administer waxing on male genitals. Because they did not wish to hurt anyone, the beauticians did not go through with the procedure and suggested Yaniv find another place with practitioners trained to provide the service she required.
After the incident, which left Yaniv distraught, she filed a lawsuit against the beauticians in the Vancouver area. Her complaints against the beauty service providers were very powerful and caused two providers to go out of business. She also filed a lawsuit seeking $15,000 in damages from each business.
Although Yaniv felt that she was sure to win the human rights case, the court decided against her. The ruling said that Yaniv’s motives were not consistent with the British Colombia Human Rights Code, and as a result, she was forced to pay $6,000 for her improper conduct. The court found the Canadian transgender woman’s complaints “unjustified” and “improperly motivated,” which resulted in her loss in the case.
The court ruled that Yaniv was motivated by financial gain and racial discrimination when filing the complaint.
Although Yaniv still maintains that she was discriminated against for her “gender identity and gender expression,” the court dismissed her case against the beauticians on the grounds that she was trying to squeeze every dollar from them as possible.
On Tuesday, the British Human Rights Tribunal dismissed her complaint, ruling that: “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.”
Yaniv first demanded $500,000 in damages, which the tribunal found to be “divorced from reality and reason.”
Adjudicator Devin Cousineau said: “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 many of these complaints, she is also motivated to punish racialized and immigrant women based on her perception that certain ethnic groups, namely South Asian and Asian communities, are ‘taking over’ and advancing an agenda hostile to the interests of LGBTQ+ people.”
Yaniv filed complaints against numerous women. Eight of the ten were non-white women working out of their homes. She seemed to be targeting more vulnerable providers in an effort to squeeze cash out of their businesses.
“I found aspects of Ms. Yaniv’s testimony to be disingenuous and self‐serving. In cross‐examination, she was evasive and argumentative, and contradicted herself,” Cousineau wrote in his ruling.
What do you think about the Canadian court’s decision to dismiss her case?
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