The US rapper needs to stay well away from Deyjah Harris’ body
‘This is disgusting, possessive and controlling’. That is what was written in a tweet liked by US rapper TI’s 18-year-old daughter after he shockingly revealed he accompanies her to an annual gynaecological exam for her hymen (and therefore virginity) to be tested.
The tweeter has taken the words directly from my mouth. How dare T.I – real name Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr – force his daughter to attend such an invasive practice that has zero medical value. I am, quite simply, livid.
It all kicked off when Deyjah Harris’ famous dad was invited to talk on a podcast about sex education for children. He told the Ladies Like Us presenters, ‘Not only have we had the conversation, we have yearly trips to the gynaecologist to check her hymen. Yes, I go with her … I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.’
Let’s be clear, a female’s hymen can be broken outside of sexual activity. It can also not break even if a female is sexually active. Oh, sorry, T.I knows all that, he just chooses to ignore facts and opts for invasion.
He said, ‘So then they [the doctors] 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’.
‘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’ (the comments have now been edited out of the podcast).
There is so much wrong with this statement (bad grammar included), but let’s start with ‘my’ results. The ‘virginity test’ results are not yours, T.I, you may have played a part in the baby making equation but Deyjah’s body is not yours and you do not own it.
T.I told the hosts that after Deyjah’s 16th birthday party, he put a sticky note on her door that read, ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.’ And since then she’s been attending every year. But T.I’s intentions are not, for want of a better word, pure. He’s not booking an appointment for Deyjah to have a smear test to check early signs of cervical cancer, for example, he is literally booking her an appointment to ensure she’s not having sex with any men. Disclaimer, T.I, her body and her choices as an adult have nothing to do with you.
To make matters even worse (yes, it is possible), T.I is attending the appointments – he’s not even waiting outside. This dominating behaviour shows a lack of respect for his daughter’s privacy, as well as an utter invasion into her life. This is not loving, it’s suffocating. It’s wrong.
And it looks like Deyjah agrees. While the rapper’s daughter hasn’t publicly commented since this disgusting news surfaced, she has liked tweets calling out her dad’s behaviour, including one that read, ‘That is just beyond possessive’.
Virginity tests are not uncommon in America, but they have been globally condemned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), UN Human Rights and UN Women. A statement read, ‘This medically unnecessary, and often times painful, humiliating and traumatic practice must end … WHO states that there is no evidence that either method can prove whether a woman or girl has had vaginal intercourse or not.’
The only good that has come from this story is the global conversation surrounding ‘virginity tests’. And I’m pleased to see so many thousands condemning T.I’s controlling male behaviour, including celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Iggy Azalea, which means the majority of us realise this is not acceptable practice and must end now. Because it isn’t overprotective, it’s outrageous. Stay away from your daughter’s body T.I, we won’t ask again.