Rapper T.I. said in a podcast interview Tuesday that he accompanies his 18-year-old daughter Deyjah Harris to the gynecologist — he’s done it since she was 16 — in order to confirm that her hymen is still intact. That, he suggested, was a way to confirm her virginity.
“Not only have we had the [sex] conversation. We have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen,” T.I. said. “Yes, I go with her.”
He then mentioned that after her 16th birthday party, he “put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.'”
“So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor comes and talk, and the doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism,” T.I. said. “He’s like, ‘You know, sir, I have to, in order to share information’ — I’m like, ‘Deyjah, they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you would not want me to know? See, Doc? Ain’t no problem.'”
Usually, when we talk about the most disturbing aspects of Purity Culture, we talk about daughters signing abstinence pledges to their fathers. Somehow T.I. took that to a whole other level…
If you’re asking yourself why this dad is so unhealthily obsessed with his daughter’s vagina, you’re not alone: “She’s 18” was trending on social media yesterday. People are rightly disgusted, and calling out the rapper for enforcing the lie that an intact hymen means a woman is a virgin (or that her sex life is any of his business).
T.I. also noted that he was informed the hymen can be broken in ways other than through sexual penetration. “And so then they come and say, ‘Well, I just want you to know that there are other ways besides sex that the hymen can be broken like bike riding, athletics, horseback riding, and just other forms of athletic physical activity,'” he said. “So I say, ‘Look, Doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously.'”
For what it’s worth, the hymen can also be naturally torn with age. And some women don’t even have them! It’s also possible not to break the hymen by having sex, so even if T.I.’s daughter “passed” this test, it wouldn’t actually mean anything.
Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB/GYN and author of The Vagina Bible:
The hymen is no virginity indicator, 50% of sexually active teens do not have a disrupted hymen. The hymen is often very flexible. 6/12
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) November 6, 2019
Maybe the worst thing about T.I.’s comments were the unhealthy emphasis placed on virginity, as if it has anything at all to do with his daughter’s worth. As the saying goes, a woman’s worth is between her ears, not her thighs.
There’s no word on how, or if, T.I. plays sex police to any of his four sons.
T.I. didn’t mention any religious reasons for his hymen obsession, but no doubt there are Purity activists in those conservative circles surprising even themselves by celebrating — for the second time in a week — a rapper whose music they would almost certainly avoid.
(Image via Shutterstock)