T.I.’s Comments About His Daughter’s Hymen Deserve The Twitter Uproar

PHoto: Paras Griffin/Getty Images.
If you thought the world couldn’t get any more convoluted, wait until you hear what the rapper T.I. just said. After doing tequila shots in the intro of the podcast Ladies Like Us, the musician shockingly said that he accompanies his daughter, Deyjah Harris, at yearly gynaecologist visits to make sure the 18-year-old's “hymen is still intact" — which he believes confirms her virginity.
The hosts of the show, Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham, asked T.I. if he’d had the “sex talk” with his daughters. Then he laughed as he told the totally warped story, which one can only hope is an exaggeration, lie, or a horrendous joke — for his daughter's sake (for everyone's sake).
"Deyjah... just graduated high school now and she’s attending her first year of college, figuring it out for herself,” the rapper says. “And yes, not only have we had the conversation, we have yearly trips to the gynaecologist to check her hymen.” The rapper then recalls that the morning after his daughter’s 16th birthday, “I put a sticky note on the door. Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.” 
"So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor will come and talk and, you know, the doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism. 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? No problem.’”
Neither T.I.’s or Harris's representatives have returned requests for comments from Refinery29. 
There are about a million problems with T.I.'s statements. Losing your virginity is a personal choice. A woman’s body (including her hymen!) is her own, and no one else should have agency over it. Also, as Columbia University’s Health Q&A Internet Resource notes: Medically speaking, "the concept of an 'intact' hymen is a myth."
The hymen itself is be a layer of thin tissue near the vaginal opening, with a hole in the centre. As Planned Parenthood points out, some people have thinner layers of tissue than others. Some people are born with hymens that are naturally open, too. The hymen can be stretched open or "broken" during the first time you have sex, yes, but also from inserting a tampon for the first time or all kinds of other activities, including sports. It’s also not connected to the already fraught concept of virginity, as Dr. Heather Bartos, a Texas OB/GYN and the founder of MindShift Medicine, explains to Refinery29.
“It is antiquated that hymens stay 'intact' until sexual activity," she says. "Various things can disturb the hymen — the thin membrane with the eraser-sized hole in it until puberty — sports, trauma, normal frolicking of childhood... The proper thing to do is have a conversation with your adolescent about sexual activity."
T.I. notes that his daughter's doctor recited some of these hymen facts to him, too. “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,’” T.I. said on the podcast. 
“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.'”
If that wasn’t bad enough, T.I. went on to reveal to the world that: "I will say as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.” He then said that this would keep people away from his daughter because virgins are “no fun.” He added: “Who wants a virgin? Like really? All that work.”
Naturally, Twitter isn't here for T.I.'s unique sex or parenting advice.
Bartos said that talking publicly about his daughter's body and her virginity is totally inappropriate. "At this point, T.I. has shamed his daughter and made her feel shame about her sexuality," she says. "Shame has no place in gynaecology!"

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