IN Canada, a country held up as a paragon of best practice, there is a court case currently underway that encapsulates exactly the concerns of feminists around Scottish Government plans to introduce self ID for trans people.

Concerns frequently pooh-poohed as misleading nonsense, the sort of scaremongering that never happens in real life. Unfortunately - for all concerned - fears have been realised.

A trans woman, Jessica Yaniv, approached a number of female beauticians to ask for a Brazilian bikini wax, all - perhaps by coincidence - were lone home workers, the majority of whom were immigrant women.

Unfortunately, Ms Yaniv was unable to find any beautician willing to carry out the intimate wax because she still retains male genitalia and each of these women only worked on female genitalia.

READ MORE: Are you trans? Next Scottish census to ask questions on gender ID 

Ms Yaniv, a trans rights campaigner, then raised action against 16 of the women at British Columbia’s human rights tribunal, alleging discrimination and seeking damages of several thousand dollars from each.

It was too much for several of the women to fight and so they folded their businesses instead, losing their livelihoods.

The case cleaves opinion in two: either it is discriminatory of the beauticians to refuse to wax a trans woman's genitals regardless of what they look like, or it is discriminatory to force a woman to handle male genitals against her will.

The tribunal will make a decision - and that decision may well be to disregard women's boundaries and dignity by finding for Ms Yaniv and asserting that the law believes it is discrimination for women to refuse to touch a penis when that penis belongs to a trans woman.

Ms Yaniv has posted deeply troubling comments on social media about young girls, although she claimed at the tribunal her account was hacked. There are those who would say she is vexatious and should be disregarded. Fiona Robertson, the SNP's National Women's and Equalities Convener, says Ms Yaniv is a female predator and that women predators often use their womanliness to gain access to victims.

Critics of Ms Robertson's stance would strongly dispute male predatory behaviour being attributed to women.

I would not dream of speaking for trans people but I'm going to take a stab that the vast majority just want to get on with their lives peaceably and, if asked about the Yaniv case, would be of the "not in my name" persuasion. Trans people cannot want this sort of legal action either, yet activists and allies have remained silent on the case.

However, it can't be ignored and certainly not by a Scotland where there is a bitter divide between trans allies and, for want of a better shorthand, women's allies.

'Trans woman are women' has become a political slogan in support of self ID and of respecting the rights of trans people but to take it to its conclusion is to fundamentally redefine the word "woman" and remove the element of sex from the word's definition.

The argument from some feminists is that the introduction of self ID is the beginning of a creep towards removing women's sex-based rights.

Currently "sex" is a protected characteristic and so, for example, women's refuges have the right to refuse to house male-bodied people or, indeed, employ male-bodied people.

Jo Swinson, the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, has been highly vocal in declaring that trans women are women but less clear in defining exactly what she means. If it is the Liberal Democrat's stance that trans women are literally women then it suggests the Liberal Democrats would support the removal of the sex-based exemption.

To avoid Yaniv-style legal cases, the Scottish Government must be explicit in how the Equality Act will apply to any new law.

But explicit answers to troubling questions are exactly what this public conversation is lacking and no wonder when you have an MP, Mhairi Black, calling women who disagree with self ID "Jeremy Hunts", a rhyming slang it takes no genius to work out.

The Scottish Government already confuses "sex" with "gender" in its consultation on self ID. Pro-self ID campaigners have pointed to the reassurance that there will be the protection of up to two years prison term for those who abuse self ID. But if you cannot define "woman", how can you legislate effectively to determine who is or isn't really living as a woman?

READ MORE: 30 years of Stonewall: The fight for LGBT rights 

In Canada too, a woman has reported to the human rights tribunal that a woman's shelter for recovering addicts made her homeless because she refused to share a twin room with a trans woman. The woman was a rape victim and felt frightened at being in close quarters with a male-bodied person who was "masc presenting", that is, maintained a beard and wore typically masculine clothes.

There was no suitable alternative space in the refuge and so the woman was asked to leave. This is another scenario women have raised questions about but been given no clear answers.

Scottish Women's Aid and Rape Crisis have both made statements saying they are in support of self ID. Rape Crisis also supports men so it's no surprise the charity supports trans people - it would be an odd development if they did not.

Scottish Women's Aid, the umbrella organisation for women's aid groups in Scotland, focuses on policy and research, it does not run refuges and so, while it supports self ID and takes a clear line that domestic abuse affects trans women too, its position is largely academic in that it will not have to deal with the frontline practicalities of balancing rights.

Individual women's aid charities in Scotland have gone on public record to say they have real concerns about self-ID.

Wouldn't it be useful, instead of sloganeering and calling women c****, for politicians and charities to give explicit, detailed answers to questions being asked? The only way to allay fears is to tackle them head-on.

Women are told their boundaries are not under threat - the Yaniv case contradicts this. They are told there is no conflict when it comes to women-only spaces such as refuges, they are told men will not pose as trans women to gain access to women's spaces - there are multiple cases in Canada of this happening.

It will only help the debate to progress if questions raised in Canada are answered in Scotland - for the benefit of everyone.