T.I. downed a tequila shot then caused an uproar in discussing his daughter’s hymen on a podcast that aired Tuesday. The rapper-actor, real name Clifford Harris Jr., told the “Ladies Like Us” podcast that he takes 18-year-old Deyjah Harris for “yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen” to see that it’s “still intact”—and that it is. He said the doctor has told him that the thin membrane at the opening of the vagina can be broken in various ways, including through physical activity. But “I say, ‘Look, doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Man, just check the hymen please and give me back my results expeditiously.'” NBC News reports the rapper suggested the teen had allowed the doctor to share medical information with him. Listeners were nonetheless appalled.
Some focused on T.I.’s wording (ie, “my” results) and stressed that his daughter is not his property. Brittany McBride, a sexual health educator with Advocates for Youth, said the idea of a “need for virginity” with daughters was “an unjust and unfair measure of where this person’s value lies, in a thin, mucosal piece of tissue.” “Hymens are not a measure of virginity,” she added. Indeed, two UN agencies and the WHO have called for an end to hymen checks, saying the “medically unnecessary and harmful test violates several human rights.” The New York State Department of Health similarly describes the tests as “an assault on young women with no scientific or medical basis.” Per the Guardian, “Harris has liked tweets condemning her father, including one that described his behavior as ‘disgusting, possessive and controlling.'” It reports his remarks were since edited from the podcast episode.