Harvey Weinstein must be kicking himself now for not identifying as trans. Because based on one federal judge’s decision, apparently it’s just fine to force women to see your penis, as long as you say you’re a woman, too.
Forget #MeToo—we’re now in an era where not wanting to be around a naked person of the opposite sex makes you a bigot breaking the law, not a victim of sexual harassment.
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Amazingly, it gets even worse: You can’t be a woman and refuse to touch a naked man, as long as he identifies as female. How sad that the suffragettes aren’t alive to witness our new glorious era.
In Washington state, a brave Korean spa dared to stand up for women-only spaces—and got shot down by a district court judge this week.
In 2020, Haven Wilvich, a man who identifies as female, filed a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission saying that Olympus Spa would not allow him to enter. Olympus Spa, which has two locations in the Seattle area, is a women’s spa that has nude female patrons in several areas.
In fact, the spa requires women to be nude: “Nor is nudity optional. It is allegedly ‘required for certain procedures called ‘Seshin’’ pursuant to Korean tradition,” writes U.S. District Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein, of the Western District of Washington, in her decision.
The spa does not allow men to enter. Why? Well, these spa employees have religious beliefs about modesty. According to Rothstein’s decision, the plaintiffs in the case—the owner of the spa, four of its employees, and a regular customer—don’t think, because of their Christian beliefs, that men and women should see each other naked outside of marriage.
The plaintiffs also have a religious conviction that women’s privacy deserves to be respected.
“Women are in a vulnerable position when they are unclothed and/or having treatment while unclothed and we seek to ensure that they feel their privacy and rights are respected,” the plaintiffs stated, according to Rothstein’s decision. “This is a biblical principle from 1 Peter 3:7, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 1 Timothy 5:2, Phillipians 4:3, Genesis 1:27, Proverbs 31:17, Phillipians 2:3 and more.”
But when it’s religious liberty vs. an aggressive transgender agenda, apparently the transgender agenda wins in Washington state.
And to be clear, Olympus Spa even had this accommodation: Men could enter the spa if they had “gone through post-operative sex confirmation surgery.”
But in 2023, demanding that penises be kept out of a woman’s spa is oh, so retro—and illegal.
Olympus Spa President Sun Lee told the Washington State Human Rights Commission in early 2021, after it had asked the spa about Wilvich’s complaint, that the female-only rule was important because of Korean cultural traditions and a desire to avoid sexual harassment.
“Mr. Lee … detailed the ‘cultural underpinnings’ of the services offered at Olympus Spa—services ‘closely tied to the Korean tradition known as jjimjilbang[.]’ In Olympus Spa’s view, ‘nudity and females-only … cannot be segregated from the cultural requirements for ‘seshin’ services[.]’” wrote Rothstein.
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Furthermore, the spa noted in its 2021 response that it was concerned about sexual harassment.
Rothstein continued in her ruling: “Citing Washington’s laws on lewd conduct, facilitating lewd conduct, and public indecency, Mr. Lee conveyed his fear that exposing female customers (especially minors) to male genitalia could subject Olympus Spa to criminal penalties.”
The Washington State Human Rights Commission, which upholds the state’s antidiscrimination laws, was not swayed, finding that Olympus Spa’s policy discriminated based on gender identity.
So let’s take a moment to digest this. Staying true to cultural traditions and practices? Illegal. Violating cultural norms and traditions? Legal.
Preventing underage girls from being in the same area as a naked man? Illegal. Allowing adult naked men visual access to underage naked girls? Legal.
Olympus Spa ultimately settled with the ironically named Washington State Human Rights Commission, but in 2022, brought forward a lawsuit saying that the enforcement of state antidiscrimination laws violated their First Amendment rights.
Rothstein dismissed that lawsuit with her Monday decision upholding the commission’s finding that Olympus Spa’s women-only rules violate state law.
It’s not the first time that aggressive men have tried to invade women’s spaces.
In Canada, Jessica Yaniv—a man who identifies as female—filed discrimination complaints against women estheticians who wouldn’t wax his genitals. In 2019, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal found 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,” reported CBC News. What a win for common sense—and women.
Or let’s take the 2021 case of the Wi Spa incident in Los Angeles. Women complained to staff that they saw a man, penis visible, in their spa. Employees said they couldn’t do anything because of local laws.
Later, Darren Merager, a man who identifies as female, was charged with “exposing an erect penis to four women and a minor girl,” reported the New York Post. Merager told the Post that he was innocent and didn’t have an erection.
The Post also detailed other times Merager was suspected of or charged with indecent exposure—all of which Merager maintains were misunderstandings or incidents of transphobia.
The case appears to be ongoing. In February, Los Angeles magazine reported a judge held a pretrial hearing and said the case could move forward. But in the meantime … what about women?
Well, in Washington state, they’re hardly of importance, clearly. Perhaps one day we’ll view “Let them see penises” as being as out of touch as the phrase attributed to Marie Antoinette.
But for now, the revolution marches on. Penises are here to stay in women’s spaces—and the full force of state law is here to ensure that.
Article cross-posted from Daily Signal.
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