A Woman With Balls

In a weird way, we lucked out with Jessica Yaniv. First, because the story happens in Canada, but second and more importantly, because we’re usually confronted with the easy problems when the critical choices are made, with the harder, more absurd problems, coming only after we’re locked into a position. Yaniv served up the absurd early enough to realize the consequences of foolish policy.

This week, British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal (CHRC) — a self-described “quasi-judicial body created by the B.C. Human Rights Code” — held hearings on whether or not female beauticians should be forced to handle male genitalia. The complainant, known until Wednesday under the alias “J. Y.” owing to a court gag order, is Jonathan/Jessica Yaniv, a self-identified transgender woman.

Yaniv has filed 16 different complaints against estheticians in the past year. Yaniv argues that, as a transgender woman, being denied services on account of her gender identity was discriminatory.

Forget about Yaniv, personally, who’s just a train wreck on many levels, and consider instead that the argument, that if one establishes as a matter of law that a transgender woman is a woman in fact, then refusal to perform a procedure intended for persons without male genitalia is logically discriminatory. Even if one can rationalize away the problem under the bathroom paradigm, because what’s the big deal, performing a Brazilian wax on testicles is a different matter. More than that, compelling a woman to do so is a different matter. Usually, it takes a while for crazy to happen, but thanks to Yaniv, it’s already on the table.

David French connects one of the dots that are unavoidably connected:

The Equality Act bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in a host of areas, including education, the workplace, and public accommodations. In practice, the Equality Act would operate a lot like the Obama administration’s May 13, 2016 joint statement from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education extending gender identity protections into Title IX.

While most people focused exclusively on which bathrooms could be used, it was patent that bathrooms were only the tip of the iceberg.

According to the Obama administration, schools will now be required to police speech regarding gender identity. School officials are required not only to refer to students by their chosen gender but also, through expansion of nondiscrimination policies, to maintain an “environment” that the administration deems sufficiently “safe,” “nondiscriminatory,” or even “supportive.” This will necessarily require regulating student speech as well. Additionally, the letter not only grants opposite-sex access to locker rooms (including showers), it requires schools with single-sex dorms to allow men access to women’s dorms and to make other “overnight accommodations.” So when schools are arranging accommodations for overnight school trips, boys will be entitled to sleep in the same hotel room as girls.

Indeed, even French didn’t stray beyond the limits of the joint guidance at the time, though the guidance offered only specific examples, but once the wall was breached, there was no longer a way to stop what would inevitably follow.

And it’s not merely a matter of the bureaucratic guidance, which was issued to circumvent Congress’ refusal to adopt sexual identity as a form of prohibited discrimination, but was followed up by lawfare in the hope of getting the Supreme Court to hold that “sex,” as set forth in the various titles of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, included sexual identity. If that could be accomplished in the relatively benign instance of allowing a transgender student to use the bathroom of choice, there would be no stopping the consequences.

So, if we accept that gender identity discrimination is sex discrimination, and that it applies to all entities subject to Titles VII and IX, consider this hypothetical:

Joe meets Lola, and they take a shine to each other.  Joe asks Lola on a date, and Lola affirmatively consents.  Joe goes back to his dorm, and is subtly informed by his roommate, Enrique, that Lola is quite the excellent sweeper on the college’s men’s curling team.

Joe is confused. He’s a bit slow. So Joe texts Lola and asks, “Lola, are you on the men’s curling team?”  Lola responds, “you bet I am. Can’t wait to see you tonight, dreamboat.”  Joe, never one to miss a trick, replies, “I didn’t know you were a dude. Sorry, but I’m not into that sort of thing.”

Lola is crushed. Joe was so adorable. Lola is now hurt, angry and offended that Joe refused to go on the date solely because Lola was a biological male who identified as a woman. There was no other reason for Joe’s cancelling the date. That’s sex discrimination.

In reaction to the Yaniv story, a random fellow on twitter related his own tales of being called transphobic for their refusal to date a “sexy woman with a penis.” Is it transphobic, or is a man entitled to not have sexual desire for a person with a penis? Is a woman allowed to prefer one to a vagina? Is a woman allowed to do her job as esthetician without being compelled by law to touch a male scrotum? Who would have imagined these would be legitimate questions to ask?

There is nothing phobic about any of these issues or questions, even if it’s become the “go-to” epithet to shame otherwise decent people into silence and, if people like Yaniv get their way, compliance. This isn’t remotely similar to the issues with discrimination for sexual orientation, as we are confronting physical thing that exist, even if some prefer to live in fantasy where sexual identity makes a male penis magically invisible or, as Yaniv would have it, magically subject to a Brazilian wax.

There is nothing about facing reality that suggests discrimination against transgender people should be allowed or tolerated. Be as transgender as you like. But unlike sexual orientation, which involves no one who doesn’t choose to be involved, the Yaniv story pushes the false narrative to the place where it needs to be, and would inevitably be soon enough.

Pretending physical reality doesn’t exist, conflicting rights don’t conflict, isn’t going to resolve the clash of fact and fiction that was bound to happen. At least Yaniv did us the favor of shoving her testicles in our faces before we made the choice of grounding law in woke fantasy.

31 thoughts on “A Woman With Balls

  1. Orthogon

    I’m confused. JY is accusing the beauticians of *gender* discrimination for not waxing his junk – but wouldn’t a _gender_ discrimination complaint only be at all justified if a beautician already offered a service to wax men’s balls, yet discriminated specifically against “lady balls”? So instead of gender discrimination (on identity), isn’t this is actually sex discrimination on actual primary sex characteristics? And isn’t that allowed for the same reasons that a car repair garage may offer a lube service, say, but not a brake pad replacement?

    People are comparing this to the “bake my cake, bigot” case, but it seems different to me because waxing bait and tackle is a very different procedure entirely from waxing punani.

    1. SHG Post author

      If the beauticians advertise the commercial availability of a Brazilian wax, and a customer walks in to avail themself (see what I did there?) of the service, can the beautician refuse to do so because the person is of the “wrong” gender? The distinction would be based not on gender, but on genitalia, but that would defy the proposition that genitalia does not dictate gender, and cannot be the conceptual ledge that prevents the slide down the slippery slope. To acknowledge that genitalia matters is to recognize that gender isn’t a state of mind, but a physical fact. That’s not allowed.

      1. John S.

        The argument gets more convoluted depending on how much Kool aid the other party is drinking. In rough order of “down the rabbit hole” I’ve also heard:

        -A transwoman is female because women are female
        -Female genitals are called a “vagina” so a transwoman’s genitals are therefore a “vagina” no matter what they “look like” (as opposed to … are)
        -“it’s disgusting to discriminate based on what someone’s genitals look like, why are you so obsessed with what’s in people’s pants”

        The word “female” has been co-opted just as much as “woman” and is travelling down the usual network of lunatics to slowly infiltrate normal conversation.

  2. Keith

    You walk into the room with your pencil in your hand
    You see somebody naked and you say, “Who is that man?”
    You try so hard but you don’t understand
    Just what you will say when you get home
    Because something is happening here but you don’t know what it is
    Do you, Mr. Jones?

  3. B. McLeod

    These alleged “estheticians” should obviously be sent for retraining, if they don’t even know how to wax female testicles.

    1. Kathleen Casey

      I would accept the challenge and wax him into a female identity for real. Problem solved.

    2. SHG Post author

      There is an argument to be made that the esthetician should have given Yaniv what she wanted, and let the chips fall where they may. But then, she would still have been required to touch his scrotum, and no one should be forced to do that.

      1. Norahc

        So failure to provide a Brazilian wax job is sexual discrimination. Anyone want to bet that next week forcing a female esthetician to do so will be sexual harassment?

      2. Kathleen Casey

        I didn’t know it was a good faith argument. I love satire is all. It does explode heads unfortunately.

        Seriously, what are his damages. Nothing that’s what. In fact. But this is this is shoehorning a matter of fact — that a man who thinks he’s a woman is not a woman — into a matter of law. It’s a good possibility that legally he and other trans will be deemed women, and the business fined into bankruptcy. Wonder what’s going on with his other lawsuits. Multiple lawsuits. Doesn’t that infer one or more mental status problems?

        Isn’t there a possibility that this a normal (not trans) male who is stimulated by the spectacle and experience of forcing himself on these women? And that there are others with the same sick yen, akin to the problem reared up in bathroom policy issue? Because I know it’s not just about this petitioner. Trying to solve the problems or supposed problems of a microscopic minority usually backfires into consequences. As Norahc recognizes.

        1. Orthogon

          Apparently, yes, based on this reporting: [Ed. Note: Link deleted per rules.]
          Wait until you get to the creepy Elmo voices–this is “Silence of the Lambs” stuff.

  4. Elpey P.

    “In reaction to the Yaniv story, a random fellow on twitter related his own tales of being called transphobic for their refusal to date a ‘sexy woman with a penis.'”

    Of course in the case of “proud lesbian” Yaniv, it would be women getting called transphobic for turning down a date.

  5. Catherine P Clements

    Is it transphobic, or is a man entitled to not have sexual desire for a person with a penis? Is a woman allowed to prefer one to a vagina? Is a woman allowed to do her job as esthetician without being compelled by law to touch a male scrotum? Who would have imagined these would be legitimate questions to ask?

    They aren’t legit questions. It’s the insane running the asylum. I have the right to date whomever I want – I choose to not date men with small kids, or who smoke. Or people with vaginas, regardless of what they want to call themselves. Or people with penises who want to borrow my shoes. Restaurants and stores ask people to leave all the time, if they’re being an asshole.

    If anyone has read Yaniv’s line of questioning to oblivious women about how tampons work, etc – it’s obvious that he gets sexual arousal from the questions. Now, he’s trying to organize a topless swim event for children 12 and older – and no parents or guardians are allowed. He’s a pedophile.

    1. SHG Post author

      There’s a reason I tried to steer this away from Yaniv personally and onto the broader issue raised by her antics. Let’s stick with that, k?

      1. Guitardave

        I think your ‘broader issue’ may be a phantom conjured by the very demons that possess this obviously ill person. ( and a certain loud minority). Sane people often look for a ‘broader issue’, i.e., one that makes some sense and has logic, when confronted with absurd horseshit like this that should be dismissed whole cloth.
        If ‘they’ truly wanted their sack smooth, they would have shopped for that. I’m certain there are service providers out there ready to accommodate them.
        I’ll take “epic trolls” for $800 Alex.

          1. Guitardave

            b…bu..but i aspire to be more than a human juke-box..( its also why i know about “getting played”)…..i know, get back in the corner and sing so we can gossip amongst ourselves…

  6. paleo

    Doesn’t waxing, you know, hurt? Basically you apply hot wax, wait for it to solidify and essentially grab the hairs, then rip the wax (along with the hairs) off. Right?

    Somebody should call her (I’ll be polite here) bluff on it and offer to apply the wax to her testicles and get to ripping. Decent chance she decides she doesn’t want the service after all.

    1. SHG Post author

      Not that I’m nearly as knowledgeable about waxing as you, but I hear some people like that sort of thing.

  7. Bryan Burroughs

    Just to play Devil’s Advocate, why shouldn’t an esthetician be required to serve biologically male clients? Handling of the short and curlies can’t be a reasonable objection, as female doctors don’t get out of testicular or prostate exams, nor can male gynecologists avoid vaginal exams. If there is a “male version” of a Brazilian wax that can be offered safely, why shouldn’t estheticians be required to provide that? Why should only biological females be able to get their genitalia waxed at a place of public accommodation?

    1. SHG Post author

      If you’re going to try to play devil’s advocate, you have to do a better job of it. This was not good.

      1. David

        Though I was wondering, does Yaniv go to a gynecologist? Or maybe this question fits better with your recent Leana Wen post.

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