In some ways, Jessica/Jonathan Yaniv is the most perfect gift. Not even Titania McGrath could have dreamed up a more effective character to demonstrate the dangers of gender identity ideology. Unbelievably, though, Yaniv is real. And the truth is that we could have predicted his story. In fact, we did.
Until last week, Yaniv could only be referred to by the initials, ‘JY.’ A member of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, Devyn Cousineau, had determined that, as a ‘transgender woman,’ Yaniv would be vulnerable to threats and harassment identity were his ‘identity… published in connection with these complaints.’ Ironically, it is Yaniv who has been revealed as the perpetrator of harassment. The publication ban on Yaniv’s name was lifted this week, yet numerous mainstream media outlets have chosen not to report the details of the complaints or the hearings.
In 2018, Yaniv filed 13 Human Rights complaints against female aestheticians in the Vancouver area, claiming he was discriminated against when these women declined to give him a ‘Brazilian bikini wax.’ In some cases, Yaniv, who is male and maintains male genitalia, used fake Facebook profiles, displaying photos of women (in at least one case, he used the profile of a pregnant woman) to request the service via Facebook Marketplace. When the aestheticians realized he was male, they told him they only performed the service for women (indeed, waxing male genitals is an entirely different procedure, which requires particular training and wax). Yaniv went so far as to tell Sandeep Banipal, proprietor of Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge, that he was on his period, and asked if she could work around the string.
Under normal circumstances, we might assume any sane person would laugh at the idea of a man attempting to bring over a dozen women to a Human Rights Tribunal because they didn’t want to touch his genitals. But we are not living under normal circumstances. We are living in a brand new world, wherein men are women the moment they say so, no matter what material reality exists. To question this claim amounts to hate speech and, apparently, could make one guilty of a hate crime.
Here in Canada, we seem to have swallowed all that gender identity ideology entails with enthusiasm. We love to think of ourselves as the most kind, inclusive, and progressive of all nations. And apparently that means immigrant women, for whom English is a second language, working out of their homes, often with young children present in the home, are obligated to touch a man’s genitals if he makes an appointment.
Jay Cameron, the lawyer representing three of the women Yaniv targeted, explained, during the hearings:
‘Some of my clients are adherents to the Sikh religion. They believe that they marry for life to one husband, and that it is not permitted for a married woman to touch the genitals of a biological male (penis/scrotum) who is not their husband.’
No matter. In progressive Canada, litigious men who claim to menstruate, wonder about how to help young girls insert tampons in the women’s washroom, and believe immigrants ‘aren’t the cleanest of people’ are the most marginalized of all, and their desires usurp the safety and comfort of all women and girls.
Indeed, this is precisely what feminists tried to warn politicians, the media, activists, and the public would happen, should we accept the notion that it is possible for men to ‘identify’ as female. How can we possibly protect women’s boundaries, spaces, and rights, if men can be women, regardless of their male biology? What even is a woman, if not a female?
One of the oddest aspects of this story is the deafening silence on the parts of the LGBT community and Canadian media who have invested so much in celebrating and promoting gender identity legislation and transgender ideology. The CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster and the organization with the most resources available to cover important stories, has acted as a cheerleader for ‘trans rights,’ refusing to engage with the concerns women have attempted to bring into the conversation. They have reported on gender identity endlessly, yet have remained mysteriously silent on the Yaniv scandal. Why?
Perhaps it is too difficult for the CBC and the many others who promoted the very ideas and policies that Yaniv is now using to destroy the livelihood of women (two of the aestheticians were forced to close their businesses as a result of this ordeal, and several settled in mediation, paying Yaniv out as they did not want to go through the court process) to admit that they were wrong to dismiss our concerns and to label those attempting to discuss these concerns as ‘bigots’ and ‘hateful.’
But as the rest of the world opens its eyes to the disturbing truth about where trans activism has taken us, those turning a blind eye are only solidifying themselves as enablers — lacking in ethics, integrity, and plain decency.
No woman should be bullied into touching a man’s penis against her will. And the fact this needs to be said out loud, in 2019, in Canada, is shameful.
Meghan Murphy is a writer in Vancouver, B.C. Her website is Feminist Current.