Commentary: T.I. checking daughters hymen controversy

Rapper T.I and his oldest daughter Deyjah Harris. Courtesy photo

Atlanta rapper and actor Tip Harris’, aka T.I., comments on his oldest daughter’s virginity sparked a huge outrage on social media last week from a podcast interview with ‘Ladies like Us’ that was released where he revealed he takes his daughter to a gynecologist every year to make sure her ‘hymen is still intact.’

In the podcast with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham, he explained his parenting style. When he was asked about whether or not he had the ‘sex talk’ with his oldest daughter Deyjah Harris, he explained his apporach.

“Not only have we had the conversation — we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen,” T.I. said. “Yes, I go with her”.

The two podcast host were so amused and filled the microphones with continued laughter, as if T.I.’s parenting tactic is funny.

He then mentioned that after her 16th birthday party, he put a sticky note on the door that read “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.’”

When I first saw this trending on social media I could not believe it. I am a fan of VH1’s T.I. and Tiny show, as I have been keeping up with their family for several years. This is disturbing on so many levels because T.I. seems possessive.

The hashtag “she’s 18” was trending on Twitter for several hours. Deyjah Harris is an 18-year-old college student. I am sure the idea of sex is not foriegn to her,nas she is a young adult. Her father’s barriers on her body are sickening. Many boys learn how to put on condoms when they are twelve, but when a girl “loses” her virginity, it is a big deal. 

His comments from the podcast received more backlash after his response to the doctors explanation of the hymen potentially ripping in other activities other than sex.

“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 does not ride any]horses, she does not ride a bike, she does not play any sports. Just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously.’”

Instead of celebrating his daughter living another year, T.I. spends his time at the doctor’s office to see if his daughter is still a virgin. Honestly, this is sick, and I can only imagine how humiliating it is for Deyjah. She liked several tweets on her Twitter account implying she does not like this parenting skill of T.I.’s. 

At the core, this is teaching his daughter that it is his body and not hers, which is very disgusting. Virginity testing, in my opinion, is a violation of human rights for girls and women.

 Usually, when a man loses his virginity he is “becoming a man”, when a woman loses her virginity she is “deflowering” or “impurating” herself. 

In response to the remarks, US reproductive healthcare provider Planned Parenthood tweeted: “Idk who needs to hear this, but virginity is a made-up social construct, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your hymen.”

T.I. proudly explaining his parenting skills with Deyjah is disturbing on so many levels.