Sarah Grace Goolden
Rapper Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., better known as T.I., became a hot topic for the first time since 2008 when he revealed he takes his daughter to the gynecologist yearly to ensure her hymen is still intact. On the podcast Ladies Like Us with Nazanin and Nadia, the 39-year-old husband and father of six, revealed after every birthday he takes his daughter Deyjah to the doctor make sure she is still a virgin.
This is a seriously creepy sentiment for a father to have but at least she has a right to keep that information private, right? Not quite. T.I. admitted to asking his daughter if she has anything to hide from him. This is a manipulative tactic that pressures her into feeling guilty if she does not consent to sharing this information.
There is an even bigger problem than this. A broken hymen has no indication on whether or not a woman lost their virginity. There is, in fact, no exam that can accurately determine whether or not a woman have had sex or not. Not only does this concept completely undermine non-PIV intercourse, it is a sexist notion that a woman’s virginity can (or should) be assessed and monitored.
Hymans can be broken for a myriad of reasons, like riding a bike. Some women are even born without it. I think, as a society, we treat the tearing of the hymen as a kind of magical, clean-cut surrender of virginity. Of course, this concept is inaccurate scientifically and pretty offensive overall.
How do these “virginity tests” work? Well, a doctor examines the hymen, sometimes by inserting two fingers into the vagina. Just to clarify, to make sure a girl has not been sexually active, a doctor checks her vagina for any tears that may have come from horseback riding.
Is there an equivalent of this for boys? No, because it wouldn’t be factual. So why do we have a test for young girls despite it also not being factual? The answer is because fathers demand purity from their daughters to the point of getting their of-age daughter’s genitals examined.
Let’s turn the spotlight on T.I. for a moment. Is T.I. a sexually-conservative man who celebrate abstinence? No, he’s the same man who refers to women as a “bunch of broads” and a “beautiful b****.” He brags about having threesomes and using expensive jewelry to get “freaky hoes to show that a**.”
Is celebrating sex in and of itself problematic? Absolutely not. However, when celebrating sex is built on degrading women and then holding his daughter to a standard of purity and modesty, it is not empowerment.
T.I. has no business using an outdated practice like virginity testing on his daughter because he does not own her body. The more we pick apart our societal view on virginity, the more we better understand ourselves and sex as a healthy practice.
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