What happens when a giant tech company, a kangaroo court style human rights tribunal system, and the media all favour identity politics over facts?
The case of Jessica Yaniv occurs.
Yaniv is a transgender woman with male genitalia.
To her large army of largely fake or inactive Twitter followers she is the Editor-In-Chief of TrustedNerd.com, a model, a product reviewer, a digital marketing expert, and an LGBTQ2SIA & human rights activist.
For many outside of that circle, she is known for having been the alleged cause of both Feminist Current founder Meghan Murphy’s and free speech activist Lindsay Shepherd’s permanent bans from Twitter. For some, as described in a blog post by B.C. NDP VP and potential candidate Morgane Oger, she is known for her alleged history of potentially predatory behaviour.
This includes her apparent interest in helping 11 and 12-year-old girls insert their tampons.
But what she will soon be best known for is her attempt to take more than a dozen women, almost all of whom come from minority backgrounds to the B.C Human Rights Tribunal while also demanding money from them, to the sum of $3000 in some cases.
Because they refused to wax Jessica’s scrotum.
According to Yaniv, estheticians should be obliged to provide waxing services to a female-identifying trans person and religious and cultural views should not interfere with the ability to access that service.
“The people that discriminated against me are forcing their beliefs on society,” said Yaniv.
While Yaniv disregards the cultural or religious beliefs of the esthetician, she is making the ballsy argument that people should be forced to wax clients with male genitalia if they self-identify as a woman.
To wax a client’s penis, an individual must handle the scrotum and the shaft of the penis.
Individuals with a penis can get erections during the process, some even leak a small amount of pre-ejaculate.
While the thought of forcing anyone to handle a sexual organ as a mandatory part of their non-medical job sounds insane, especially when you consider the potential for predatory behaviour, the Human Rights Tribunal actually seems to be taking it very seriously instead of treating it as an absurd farce.
Perhaps even worse, until now, Jessica has been able to largely go about her attempt to force women into waxing her penis without serious media scrutiny.
She did this under the protection of a publication ban, in effect allowing her to flex her activist muscles to essentially bully disadvantaged women working out of their homes to provide a living for their families.
Yaniv’s alleged predatory behaviour is also not the only problematic part.
Yaniv appears to have some seriously bigoted views towards immigrants which raises a question around her intent when reaching out to many small waxing salons rather than say a larger or more specialized operation which would be equipped to deal with men.
She has actively said that immigrants lie and are dirty, while also tweeting support for police initiating the potentially discriminatory practice of street ID checks in Surrey, B.C.
Interestingly, Yaniv, who has made the complaint that immigrants lie, also lied to the many professionals she contacted, by asking if they would perform the waxing service on her while she underwent her period.
During the hearing, Jessica conceded that she was not menstruating, and had lied to the esthetician about that. It also became public that a recurring theme had occurred in which most defendants did not speak fluent English.
Jessica’s mother allegedly complained that her tax dollars would go to pay for translators required to help the women defend themselves against the complaint made by her daughter.
I could write perhaps another two thousand words on these problematic instances, but in the interest of saving time, I have linked to some of them below.
With so much content, it is more than surprising to see the overall lack of media coverage regarding Jessica Yaniv.
Outside of an independent journalist, the article response taken by Morgane Oger, our coverage, and some spotty pieces across the internet, it seems most mainstream organization will not dare report on this story in any significant depth.
Certainly, our state broadcaster with more than a billion dollars in taxpayer funding has not.
Editor’s Note: Since the publication of this article, the National Post has published on the topic.
In many ways it seems most mainstream news organizations are ready to ignore it wholeheartedly or suppress it, even if that decision were to mean a group of women without resources losing their claims because they simply refused to wax male genitalia.
Vice, alongside many other organizations, ran articles earlier this week largely celebrating the banning of Lindsay Shepherd from Twitter.
Nowhere in their articles did they mention the extremely troubling allegations around Jessica around alleged predatory behaviour.
Nope, just jubilation for a free speech activist being gagged as a result of the relatively tame online confrontation. Yes, Jessica’s identity was hidden for the case itself, but the overall lack of comment on the many other clear and public cases as well as the lack of coverage today after the dropping of the publication ban are extremely telling.
If the mainstream media wouldn’t touch this story, how can we trust them to faithfully continue representing the interest of the general public instead of only telling facts that conveniently fit their world view?
Just as importantly, how can we expect social media platforms to ethically regulate their forums if this deranged worldview informs their decision-making in curating the internet and what information and people should be silenced?
But you know what is perhaps more depressing than losing your faith in the mainstream media and social media companies because they are blinded by deranged dogma?
The fact that these situations have no winners.
In the end, there will be just losers and bigger losers.
Regardless of the outcome, dozens of women and their families have been vexed and traumatized, some have lost their business.
Should the circumstances around this story continue to grow, there will also undoubtedly be a rise in hateful conduct from bigots who choose to direct their anger towards trans individuals as a whole instead of the one bad and litigious actor in this case.
Should Jessica win, women working out of their homes who provide waxing services to women will be told that they will have to handle a penis against their will in the province of B.C
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