If you haven’t heard by now, T.I. has got folks fired up over his recent comments about his daughter’s virginity while speaking on the Ladies Like Us podcast. He confessed to taking his fatherly duties further than most when it comes to having the sex talk with his daughter. The rapper has been taking his 19-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris, on annual trips to the gynecologist, where he requests the doctor tell him if his daughter’s hymen is intact.
This struck a chord with the internet and got everyone talking about whether or not he should be policing his daughter’s body (not to mention the fact TIP’s 15-year-old son has been sexually active for a year, hmm…). We reached out to our BET family and friends to shine a light and bring some understanding to the topic by asking them:
What are your thoughts on fathers taking their daughters for a "hymen check-in" at the gynecologist? Do you see it as a fatherly duty, or a violation of privacy?
"This is sad and disturbing. This is not being 'invested in your child’s health,' as some people are claiming. This archaic 'hymen check' is wrong on so many levels, but most importantly, she can still be sexually active with an intact hymen.
"And the fact that he didn’t consider that speaks volumes. I hope he accompanies her to a therapist as well, because she is going to need one." —Jerry Barrow/@JLBarrow, BET
3. Not everything needs to be shared on social media."
—Kateri Fischer, BET
"I definitely view this as a violation of privacy. A father/parent’s concern should be with their child’s health, and a 'hymen check' has nothing to do with that. It also doesn’t seem ethical for the medical professional to share this type of information regardless if Deyjah was a minor at the time." —Anita S. Nixon, BET
"I was today-years-old when I found out what a hymen is. With that being said, that’s between the mother and daughter. It’s an invasion of privacy in my non-kid-having parental opinion. If I had a daughter, I would divert those conversations to the mother. I can’t speak to those topics in the same manner the mother could.
"That doesn’t mean that I would completely remove myself from having any conversations that are remotely related to sex with my daughter. I would still talk to her about dating. I’ll try to provide her with a framework on how she could date successfully and proudly carry on the family name.
"On the other hand, if the situation was in reverse and I had a son, I would want the mother to be mindful of when she can’t speak/handle a topic to the same degree as a father can." —Michael Allamby, NewAm Wines
"This is the wildest. Completely inappropriate."
"This is so uncomfortably antiquated. Many of the defenders are saying that it is 'good parenting.' Although I am not a parent, I am someone who is conscious of the ways that women are constantly conditioned to be disempowered and disconnected from their own bodies.
"I think a more autonomous and healthy solution would be to have safe-sex discussions and to encourage your daughter to make her own choices. The virginity scrutiny puts so much unnecessary stress and pressure on a situation, not to mention a total invasion of privacy." —Danielle Prescod, BET
"T.I.'s controlling actions showcase the double standards of gender dynamics between men and women. It's also a humiliating tactic. In the long haul, T.I.'s creating a negative stigma and traumatic experience surrounding his daughter's sexuality.
"Does he give this same energy to his sons and their sexual activity? I don't think so. Unfortunately, it's an overprotective misogynistic approach that dates back centuries for women that, sadly, many men today are in agreeance with." —Dontaira Terrell, Freelance Writer
"This is a complete invasion of privacy. Not only that, but it further perpetuates the most negative aspects of our society in terms of the constraints of femininity vs. masculinity, toxic masculinity in general, misogyny, rape culture as well as the notion that a women’s virtue is linked to her virginity. And he just sounds uneducated AF even questioning the state of his daughter’s virginity based off of whether or not her hymen is intact!
"I know that as a women, I do wish conversations about sex and proper vaginal health were less taboo to have between a father and a daughter, because that could actually be really helpful. But for T.I. to be this invasive with his ADULT daughter is really scary and shows there is no semblance of trust or open dialogue between him and Deyjah. This whole situation is just really sad." —Gina Conteh, BET
"I think that fathers should be involved in the health of their daughters. That’s physical and mental. A hymen check doesn’t fit into that. Identify the real concern. Is it the boys she dates? STDs? Her and her boyfriend’s immaturity? Unplanned pregnancy?
"Talk to her. The presence of a hymen doesn’t mean the presence of her self respect, knowledge, or safety." —Brittiany Taylor, BET
"Sounds a bit paranoid on TI’s part to me… Plus, hasn’t the idea that a broken hymen indicates a lack of virginity been disproven? Pretty sure it can tear via intense physical activity (common amongst young athletes). Get learned, TIP!" —Alex Johnson, BET
(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)