by Sydney Henry ’20
T.I., an American actor and rapper most well known for his musical collaborations with artists such as Rihanna and Destiny’s Child, has recently come under fire for information he shared on the podcast “Ladies Like Us.” On this episode of the podcast, which debuted the first week in November, T.I. was asked if he has broached the topic of sex with his two daughters. T.I. not only said that he has had a conversation with his oldest daughter about sex, he also declared that he takes yearly trips with his daughter to the gynecologist for “virginity testing.” The episode has since been removed. However, T.I.’s commentary still remains.
According to T.I., his 18 year old daughter Deyjah signs a consent form at each visit that allows her father to be in the room when the gynecologist performs the procedure. T.I. admits that he has been taking his daughter to get these tests done annually since she was 16 years old. This “virginity testing” is a procedure performed by a gynecologist to see if a piece of tissue known as the hymen is intact or torn, the assumption being if a female’s hymen is still intact then she’s never had intercourse. However, the hymen is not a definitive indicator of whether or not a woman has had intercourse, and can be damaged by just about any physical activity.
Virginity is a private and sensitive topic for many, one that is not usually discussed with the general public. T.I. not only invaded his daughter’s privacy when he pressured her into this “virginity testing,” but also when he shared it the fact that she is still a virgin with the general public. There are also issues with the procedure itself, as not only is the procedure invasive, but there is also zero medical or scientific evidence that “hymen checks” can reliably determine whether a female has had sex. Scientists have long condemned so-called virginity testing as a violation of a woman’s rights.
Pressuring Deyjah to sign these consent forms to share her private health information with her father is an invasion of her privacy and borderline abusive as a parent. Deyjah’s acceptance of her father’s actions has become questionable. Even though she has not publicly expressed her opinions, she was found liking tweets that ridicule her father’s decisions, and has now since unfollowed her father on all social media. Being 18 years old, Deyjah is now a legal adult and should no longer be subjected to her father’s invasion of her private life.