Rapper T.I. is no stranger to a bit of controversy, but the US artist is facing backlash on a different level after admitting he gets his daughter’s hymen checked by a gynecologist every year.
Appearing on the Ladies Like Us podcast hosted by Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham, the dad, whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., made the truly shocking admission with a nonchalance that belied the furious backlash it received.
Responding to the ladies asking if he had had the ‘sex talk’ with his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris, T.I. said not only did they discuss the topic openly, but he had initiated a yearly tradition after her 16th birthday in which he had a doctor check her hymen to see it was intact.
That is, they organised a yearly medical virginity test.
Though typically information from this kind of test would not be shared to anyone without the patient’s consent, the rapper explained he had his daughter sign a waiver.
He explained he asked his daughter if there was anything she didn’t want him to know, and she agreed to sign the document, while he stood and watched.
In Australia anyone over the age of 16 has the right to complete confidentiality when it comes to medical practice, and many consider presenting a waiver in the presence of a parent to violate that.
‘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 back my results expeditiously”,” he relayed to the podcast.
"I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact."
Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted T.I. and Deyjah for comment.
Deyjah has a vibrant Instagram presence and boasts over 1.4 million followers, sharing light-hearted model snaps and smiling selfies.
Neither she nor her father has issued any public statement so far.
The UN calls it a ‘humiliating and traumatising practice’.
The shocking admission (and use of a possessive pronoun when referring to his daughter’s test results) have raised serious concerns about the rapper’s daughter’s medical privacy, and the archaic practice of monitoring the physical virginity of women being alive and well in the US today.
The United Nations called for an end to virginity testing in 2018, labelling it ‘a human rights violation, with no scientific basis’.
The practice is not only considered medically redundant, given the hymen can tear, break or even be missing completely regardless of sexual activity, but has been warned to carry potential mental and physical health repercussions down the road.
It is not illegal in the United States.
“This medically unnecessary, and often times painful, humiliating and traumatic practise must end,” The UN Human Rights Office and UN Women and the World Health Organisdation said the World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Brazil last year.
Though the response to the rappers’ comments are almost unanimous in their denouncement of the admission, many are left wondering what impact it will have on his career in the #metoo era.
While many are sharing their theory that the rapper will be ‘cancelled’, others aren’t so sure.
“I’m not big on cancel culture, but I’m willing to make an exception,” one wrote.
However, famously a scandal on this level has not always spelled the end of a high-profile man’s career.
With that said, the sentiment online almost entirely echoes the UN’s assessment of the practice.
Commentators reacted to the news that T.I. asks his daughter to participate in the practice with revulsion.
Many argued that pressuring a child into proving their virginity reinforces shaming around sex and blurring of consent.
“Sex shaming and sex-negativity combined with lack of boundaries obscures lessons about giving and obtaining consent. This normalises an invasiveness that makes affirmative consent an alien concept,” one person wrote online.
Many blasted the practice as ‘harmful parenting’.
T.I. proudly stating he goes to the gyno with his daughter to make sure she's a virgin is disgusting. It's upsetting me that he's putting this out there like it's a genius parenting tactic. Your daughter's vagina does not belong to you. WTF.— Natelegé Whaley (@natelege_) November 6, 2019
Other’s couldn’t look past what they called deeply troubling language.
“my results” its her body not yours 🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢— Avenge Latasha Harlins (@race_jones) November 6, 2019
I still tryna wrap my mind around T.I checking up on his daughter’s hymen..what century are we in?😩— Rebel Woman (@__SanFlower) November 6, 2019
The medical community also weighed in.
OB/GYN Dr Jennifer Gunter said, “The hymen means nothing physically and hymen exams are medically not a thing and are unnecessary. And support a disgusting patriarchal trope.”
She also explained a few truths about hymens in an illuminating Twitter thread.
This is horrible on so many levels. Let me educate you all about the hymen 1/12 https://t.co/fJHWIOg7sz— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) November 6, 2019
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