Andrew Lawton

Andrew Lawton

I’ve seen more doctors in my life than I can count, yet never once have I felt the need to see a gynecologist. And why would I? I don’t think I’m oversharing to say that I lack the parts that any respectable gynecologist would be comfortable working on.

So does Jessica Yaniv, the transgender individual who has catapulted to infamy this year over demands that waxologists provide a full Brazilian, and now that physicians specializing in the female reproductive system go along with Yaniv’s self-determined identity as a woman.

I’ve avoided writing about Yaniv for the most part, even as my colleagues in the media covered Yaniv’s human rights complaints and other public statements with gusto. I don’t fault them for doing so, but was uncomfortable with it myself given that Yaniv comes across in interviews as genuinely unwell.

I don’t think it’s productive or fair to anyone to provide Yaniv the sought-after attention, nor to elevate Yaniv as a spokesperson for any group.

Though despite Yaniv cementing an identity as a mean-spired caricature, the world is still going along with the lie.

I’m looking at you, Twitter.

The social media company has a controversial policy prohibiting “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

This means that tweeting the birth name or biological sex of a transgender person on Twitter can get you suspended or even permanently banned from the platform.

Free speech activist Lindsay Shepherd was suspended in the summer after a back-and-forth with Yaniv in which Yaniv mocked a reproductive abnormality that Shepherd has. Feminist Current founder Meghan Murphy was given the boot from Twitter a little over a year ago for using an unwelcome pronoun.

Even journalists aren’t safe from the wrongspeak hammer.

In December, Yaniv appeared before the Provincial Court of British Columbia on weapons charges. On the court docket, Yaniv is listed as “Yaniv, Jessica Jonathan.”

Tweeting this out earned Rebel News reporter Keean Bexte a suspension, one of eight he’d receive that day from Twitter for not hewing to Yaniv’s chosen gender, despite Yaniv’s own mother using the words “he” and “him” to describe Yaniv.

The Post Millennial’s Anna Slatz was subsequently suspended for tweeting about Bexte’s suspension. Both accounts have since been reinstated. had its Twitter account suspended over a tweet referring to Yaniv as a “him.”

That tweet was about Yaniv’s “shocked…confused” response to a gynecologist supposedly not providing treatment, which, if true, shouldn’t be all that surprising given Yaniv reportedly has male genitalia.

Yaniv tried to spin it as discrimination, which is par for the course.

At worst, Yaniv is mentally unwell (I wouldn’t dare diagnose anyone). At best, Yaniv has weaponized a transgender identity to punish those who dare to question it. Either way, it’s telling that the new ideological framework chooses to tiptoe around Yaniv at the expense of truth, even when it means punishing people for something as simple as referring to the legal name of a defendant in a matter before the criminal court.

It bears repeating that many trans people wish simply to be left alone to live their lives how they wish. In situations when I have encountered trans people in the world, I’ll address them by whatever name they provide, because it’s the courteous thing to do.

Going beyond that to impose language and compliance on others is becoming the norm for a subset of this community. For people like Yaniv, being addressed by preferred name and pronouns isn’t enough: Yaniv wants access to change rooms, women’s health services and any private space set out for women.

As a private company, Twitter certainly has the right to go along with this, although its participation in this process as a heavy-handed enforcer only furthers the culture of fear that ultimately plagues everyone.

This culture is what allows compelled speech laws like Bill C-16 to be enacted, despite the warnings that it would give the state the same sort of power we see Twitter embracing at present.

Farcical as Yaniv’s waxing crusade was, it revealed a lot about how much apprehension exists for those in and outside of the media when it comes to trans issues.

Yaniv has claimed womanhood as an excuse to bully and berate, yet media still, without question, refer to Yaniv by female pronouns. Is it because they fear the mob, or because they genuinely believe one can be a woman simply by saying so? If the manifestation is the same, the distinction doesn’t really matter.