Remember back in November when rapper T.I. told interviewers that he accompanied his teen daughter to gynecological appointments to test her hymen?
He does. And, if a recent Instagram post is anything to go by, he has some regrets.
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I love you girls more than my vocabulary will allow me to express. You have grown so much right before my very eyes & blossomed into strong,brilliantly opinionated, independent young women. I'm so proud of you both and I love you to no end,more than you'll ever know. Please forgive me for any and all imperfections that cause misunderstandings between us…. Charge my mind,not my heart. You see Life may throw us curveballs & deal us some pretty bad hands at times. But rest assured,you'll NEVER find yourself in a place too high or low for me to be there to catch you when you fall. I just Can't let another second go by without letting you know while we're still here in this life together…. You have ALL MY LOVE FOR ALL MY LIFE…&AFTER‼️ @princess_of_da_south @zonniquejailee
The rapper has been deeply moved by the sudden death of basketball star Kobe Bryant and his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, who were killed in a helicopter crash. (“As a father I can’t even imagine…,” he writes in one recent post.) Several posts later, he wrote what some are calling “an open letter to his daughters” and “a public apology.”
As apologies go, it’s fairly unspecific and oblique:
I love you girls more than my vocabulary will allow me to express. You have grown so much right before my very eyes and blossomed into strong, brilliantly opinionated, independent young women. I’m so proud of you both and I love you to no end, more than you’ll ever know. Please forgive me for any and all imperfections that cause misunderstandings between us… Charge my mind, not my heart. You see, Life may throw us curveballs and deal us some pretty bad hands at times. But rest assured, you’ll NEVER find yourself in a place too high or low for me to be there to catch you when you fall. I just can’t let another second go by without letting you know while we’re still here in this life together…
The post was accompanied by pictures of his two eldest children, his stepdaughter Zonnique Pullins and eighteen-year-old Deyjah Harris, the one at the center of all the controversy.
It’s hard to avoid being moved by T.I.’s apparently sincere and heartfelt words. But not everyone seems to be buying in. Cosmopolitan, for one, is taking the apology with a grain of salt:
While T.I. did apologize to his daughters, he didn’t mention specifics. I mean, one would hope a proper sorry would be given after saying, “Who wants a virgin? Like, really? All that work,” but alas.
The quote references an uncomfortable segment in the now-infamous interview where the podcast host suggested that T.I. might have made his daughter even more interesting to boys by announcing her virginity on air. T.I. dismissed the possibility, implying that Harris was less desirable because virgins are “no fun.”
If, after all that, she held out for a more specific apology, who could blame her?
At the time of T.I.’s original remarks, the Internet had a lot to say about the unscientific, outdated and paternalistic practice of hymen checks, and even more about the coercive and controlling way T.I. described it. (Prompting a teen to allow parental access to her medical information by asking if she has anything to hide doesn’t give her much space to say no.) The issue gained so much traction, it prompted lawmakers to craft legislation against the practice.
As moving as T.I.’s post might be, it doesn’t demonstrate that he understands any of that. It’s a powerful appeal to emotion that lacks substance and gives Harris no assurance that he will respect her autonomy or her dignity in the future. More than anything, the post reads as the words of a man who wants to skip over the hard work of addressing his misogyny and get to the part where his family reconciles and lives happily ever after.
Harris unfollowed her father on Instagram in November. So far, she has not responded to his post.
(Featured image via Shutterstock)