VANCOUVER: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (jccf.ca) has been retained to defend Vancouver esthetic salon She Point Beauty Studio against a new human rights complaint from serial complainant Jessica Yaniv.
Yaniv has male genitalia and was born a biological male, but now self-identifies as female. In 2018, Yaniv approached 14 or more esthetic salons in the greater Vancouver area requesting a “Brazilian” bikini wax, which is the waxing of the female genital area. Yaniv claimed the right to the service based on self-identification as a woman.
When the estheticians refused due to a lack of personal comfort, safety concerns, a lack of training, and/or religious objections, Yaniv filed human rights complaints against them alleging discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression, and seeking damages in excess of $15,000 per esthetician. The Justice Centre represented a total of five estheticians before the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Three of the complaints were heard in July 2019.
In October 2019, the Human Rights Tribunal dismissed Yaniv’s complaints, noting 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.” The Tribunal also found that the complainant Jessica Yaniv had “engaged in improper conduct” and had filed complaints “for an improper purpose”. The Tribunal ordered Yaniv to pay costs of $2,000 to each the three individual estheticians, for a total of $6,000. Thus far, Yaniv has refused to pay these costs.
Yaniv’s new complaint again targets an esthetics salon run by women of immigrant background. She Point Beauty Studio is operated by East Indian women who are adherents to the Sikh religion. Yaniv approached the studio in August 2019 and first requested a Brazilian bikini wax. The studio refused, stating that their services are only for women. Yaniv then requested leg waxing services. Leg waxing takes place in private with the customer in their underwear or nude from the waist down. She Point Beauty Studio rejected Yaniv’s request for services due to religious, cultural and safety reasons, and because the salon services are specialized to women. Yaniv filed the complaint against She Point Beauty Studio in early October 2019.
In October 2019, the Human Rights Tribunal dismissed three complaints by Yaniv, noting 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.” The Tribunal also found that the complainant Jessica Yaniv had “engaged in improper conduct” and had filed complaints “for an improper purpose”.
The Tribunal found that Yaniv has a “grievance” against certain ethnic groups and targeted them out of racial animus to “punish” them for their cultural and religious views. Yaniv has made derogatory public comments about East Indians and Sikhs, as well as immigrants generally.
In one such comment cited by the Tribunal, Yaniv stated:
“We have a lot of immigrants here who gawk and judge and aren’t exactly the cleanest people. They’re also verbally and physically abusive, that’s one main reason why I joined a girls gym, cause I DON’T want issues with these people, nor do I want anything to do with them in anyway, shape or form.They lie about shit, they’ll do anything to support their own kind and make things miserable for everyone else.”
A hearing date has not yet been set for Yaniv’s new complaint. It is anticipated it will proceed to a hearing sometime in 2020.
“Women have a constitutional right not to be compelled to touch biological males in an intimate or highly personal manner if they are not comfortable doing so,” stated Jay Cameron, the lawyer who acted for five BC estheticians in 2019. “Like male genital waxing, our client does not offer male leg waxing services to the public, and we intend to vigorously defend against this targeted harassment on behalf of our client.”