Musical artist T.I. proudly admitted he accompanies his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris, to gynecologist appointments, so that he can ask the doctor directly to “check her hymen.” As BuzzFeed News reports, T.I. shared this charming anecdote on Tuesday’s episode (since deleted) of a podcast called—and I cannot make this up— Ladies Like Us, which is hosted by Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham. The hosts reportedly asked T.I. if he’d had the “sex talk” with his daughters, and he started rambling on about how he goes to gyno appointments with his eldest daughter, who is now 18 (an adult) and in college (AN! ADULT!). From the interview:
“So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor comes and talk, and 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? Ain't no problem…’"
This is highly problematic, and even low-key abusive. “Virginity tests” are known to cause psychological harm, an effect that’s probably exponentially worse when both your gynecologist and your father are involved. It’s also just so dumb. The hymen is the baby teeth of the vagina, as Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN who’s incredibly online, succinctly tweeted. Which is to say it’s a flimsy, temporary piece of anatomy that will inevitably tear, and often from something other than vaginal penetration.
In response to the idea that this hymen-checking might be an incredibly misguided and even harmful idea, T.I. scoffed:
"And so then 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.’ 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.’
I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”
It’s horrific to have to live this interaction down in the first place. But to then have your assumed sexual status paraded around on a podcast, like a prize pony?? That’s a hell beyond my imagination, and I’m extremely creative and twisted. T.I.’s understanding of how sex works sounds like it’s stuck somewhere in sixth grade, when the myth that the hymen is a poppable cherry is more pervasive.
To be totally clear (and T.I., I’m talking to you, pal): The hymen doesn’t pop, nor does it break or go away as a result of having penetrative sex for the first time. It’s a useless piece of anatomy, a thin piece of membrane that sits about two centimeters inside the vaginal opening. Barring a medical abnormality, it stretches or tears from things like riding a bike and/or a horse, doing gymnastics, using a tampon, or, yes, some sort of sexual penetration. Having it “checked” by a doctor is uneccessary at best, traumatic at worst.
Not only is T.I. unfortunately *air horn* *lasers* ca-ca-ca-cancelled, he is also a hypocrite: His hit single “Whatever You Like” was an anthem of sexual celebration for a certain micro-generation of young women. Another great, sexually liberated song, now forever tainted by the singer’s regressive and troubling politics. I guess you can only have “Whatever You Like” if “Whatever You Like” doesn’t include privacy, basic respect, and having a dad who isn’t a goddamn creep.
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