Truth is a tricky thing. For some people, it’s a scary thing.
Publication bans, rules which prevent those of us in the media from discussing or reporting upon truths, can offer some solace to those who would rather the truth not be disseminated.
The truth has proven itself to be a very scary thing for Jessica Yaniv, whose birth and legal pre-transition name is Johnathan Yaniv. There can be no other explanation for someone who has taken such effort to scrub any discussion of herself away, weaponizing both the law and private social media platforms against anyone who has attempted to shine a light on the problematic nature of her behaviour.
In June of 2018, Yaniv was granted a publication ban which prevented the media from publishing both her name, or legally exploring details of her history. Details which would have proved pertinent in any discussion of a controversial figure, but especially one whose actions would ultimately impact Canadian law as a whole.
Fortunately, as of July 17th, 2019, and thanks to the work of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms the publication ban is now lifted, as is the muzzle on the truth about Jessica Yaniv.
In 2018, Yaniv filed 16 human rights complaints with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, charging various waxing and esthetic salon workers with transphobic discrimination for declining to provide waxing and other beautification services to her male genitals.
Each of these salons or salon workers had specifically indicated they only provided intimate area services to female clients, or had challenged Yaniv on her gender due to her then-male name being used on social media, and male presenting photograph. It is worth noting that Yaniv used male pronouns and her male name on her LinkedIn and various social media as late as November of 2018.
Of the 16 defendants, many are women of colour with religious and/or cultural backgrounds which would have regulated or otherwise made it strictly uncomfortable to have close interaction with male genitals.
However, and as discussed by JCCF lawyer John Carpay for The Post Millennial in late 2018, it is both professionally and personally legitimate for any female esthetician to limit their services to female genitalia.
Yaniv’s complaints were effectively asserting that it should be made a legal precedent that female estheticians not be allowed to refuse male-bodied clients. Not on religious grounds. Not on cultural grounds. Not because of their comfort level. Not even because they did not have the professional skills or equipment required to successfully perform the very specific “manzillian” procedure. They simply should not be allowed to refuse contact with a penis, period.
As discussed by Carpay in his op-ed, Yaniv stood to make over $35,000 from these complaints if successful. Some of the women opted to settle in mediation, likely terrified of the stress and exaggerated effort a Human Rights Tribunal case required.
But on July 5th, 2019, the hearings commenced with four women legally represented by the JCCF. Citizen journalist (and feminist concerned for the impact this case would have on women’s rights in Canada) @goinglikeelsie took great effort to detail what the media could not at the time in a series of threads on Twitter.
As tepid details emerged from inside the walls of the courthouse, one thing became clear: Yaniv had a problematic history that could not be ignored in the discussion of her litigation against the women.
As the first woman defending herself against Yaniv’s arbitrary accusations of transphobia and discrimination was Sikh, the issue of Yaniv’s bigoted attitude towards people of colour could not be ignored, and was discussed in the hearing, according to @goinglikeelsie’s threads detailing what was said in the hearing.
Some of those comments can be evidenced in the below screenshots from conversations made public in 2018;
As late as July 17th, 2019, Yaniv was calling for immigration raids on “120th street in Surrey,” an area known to have a lot of residents who are brown and black people with immigrant backgrounds.
This echoes previous calls Yaniv has made to have the very women she is taking to court deported for “transphobia.”
More of Yaniv’s problematic history was revealed in the hearings, as her infamous comments about young girls and tampons was brought to light. I
n one conversation with an esthetic salon on Facebook, Yaniv presented her genitalia as female, and stated that she was on her period. Under the impression Yaniv was female, the esthetician apparently requested that Yaniv wear a tampon to better facilitate the genital waxing services. While we do not have the screenshots of the conversation between the esthetician and Yaniv, Yaniv did discuss deceiving an esthetician, and conversing about tampons and periods, with another individual.
Yaniv allegedly claimed she did not know how to use tampons, a detail which echoes a number of previous conversations that have surfaced with respect to Yaniv’s disturbing information-seeking on menstrual products.
Especially when it also includes references to young girls.
At least some of these screenshots may have been read in the Tribunal.
While it is unlikely this further information will be revealed at the Tribunal, it can now be noted that Yaniv’s disturbing history extends beyond bizarre attitudes around menstrual products and apparent racism.
More disturbing behaviour has been recorded and reported. Screenshots of conversations discussing the private parts of young girls, and the pestering of young girls on the internet, have all surfaced.
On Ask.FM, a semi-anonymous ask and answer site, Yaniv allegedly provided her phone number to girls under the age of 16.
The number was cross-referenced with the Better Business Bureau as belonging to Yaniv.
While it cannot be fully confirmed, a number of the comments left under the girls on Ask.FM resemble the interests of Yaniv from previous revelations.
Most recently, Yaniv showed up without invitation to a beauty pageant featuring young girls and photographs of them were taken. This disturbed the organizer, Charlotte Millington, to the point of threatening Yaniv with police involvement.
Morgane Oger, a transwoman and the NDP MP-nominee hopeful for Vancouver Centre, took this opportunity to call Yaniv out for “her” egregious history of inappropriate behaviour around young girls, behaviour Oger documented in a blog post released in April of 2019.
In that blogpost, Oger claims that she had been in contact with individuals who had been directly targeted and impacted by the inappropriate behaviour of Yaniv when they were young girls. This story was previously detailed by The Post Millennial. Note that in many of the esthetician’s cases, they worked out of their home and had small children present.
In no small part due to these details, Yaniv’s potentially vexatious litigation against the estheticians in British Columbia represents a break-point on the issues of self-identification and women’s rights.
If a decision were to be made in favour of Yaniv, it would be a wholesale rejection of the ability of women to gauge and limit their contact with those they feel uncomfortable around.
Female-run businesses which desired to limit their services to female clients, even on cultural or religious grounds, would no longer be allowed to do so. The theoretical impact this would have, predominantly that on women of colour, would be pronounced. Further, the case raises questions about the ability of individuals to hide their potentially pertinently problematic past behind claims of “deadnaming.”
The Yaniv vs. Various Waxing Salons schedule of hearings is available here. The public is free to attend.
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