Racist agenda noted by B.C. tribunal in dismissed scrotum waxing complaint by transgender woman

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      A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed a complaint filed by a transgender woman against several Lower Mainland aestheticians.

      Jessica Yaniv has alleged that she was denied waxing services for her genitals and limbs because of her gender identity and expression.

      However, tribunal member Devyn Cousineau noted in her reasons for decision that the beauticians were waxing female genitalia only.

      “In the genital waxing cases, I find that scrotum waxing was not a service customarily provided by the Respondents,” Cousineau wrote. “As such, they did not deny Ms. Yaniv a service and did not discriminate against her.”

      Yaniv testified that she has “male parts”.

      In connection to the leg and arm waxing cases, Cousineau found that Yaniv filed the complaints for “improper purposes”.

      The tribunal member noted that Yaniv was out to “target small businesses for personal financial gain”.

      Another motivation is Yaniv’s hostility to ethnic minorities who are providing the waxing services.

      “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,” Cousineau wrote.

      According to Cousineau, these motives are “not consistent” with the purposes of the B.C. Human Rights Code.

      Cousineau noted that many of the women that were subject to Yaniv’s complaints are immigrants and do not speak English as a first language.

      The tribunal member did not accept Yaniv’s argument that this is “only because these are the groups predominantly providing beauty services in her community”, which is the Surrey and Langley areas.

      “Ms. Yaniv has a grievance against certain ethnic and cultural groups in the lower mainland of BC which she perceives are failing to assimilate effectively into what she considers ‘Canadian’ culture,” Cousineau wrote.

      The complaints are “one way in which she is attempting to make this point and punish members of these groups”.

      “Coupled with Ms. Yaniv’s open hostility towards these groups, I cannot avoid the finding that Ms. Yaniv is using many of these complaints to fulfil her promise to ‘expose’ the ‘bigotry’ of South Asian and other immigrant or racialized women who would not serve her,” Cousineau stated. 

      According to Cousineau, “human rights complaints underlain by a racist agenda are antithetical” to the human rights code.

      “Far from advancing the cause of LGBTQ+ people, Ms. Yaniv’s conduct would, if condoned, threaten this Tribunal’s integrity and its mission to foster an equitable, tolerant, and respectful society,” Cousineau wrote.

      Dismissed were Yaniv’s complaints Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge and Sandeep Benipal, Marcia DaSilva, Judy Tran, Pam Dulay, Merle Norman, Sukhdip Hehar and Sukhi Beauty Dream Salon, and Hina Moin.

      Cousineau ordered Yaniv to pay a total of $15,000 or $5,000 each to the following who were represented by lawyers in the proceedings: Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge and Sandeep Benipal, Suhki Hehar and Sukhi Beauty Dream Salon, and Marcia DaSilva.

      Yaniv was also ordered to pay $2,000 each to Benipal, DaSilva, and Hehar “as costs for improper conduct”.