You Check Her What???
The sins of masculinity continue to control the growth of femininity
Sigh, it's always an exasperating day when an unenlightened male fully exposes his barbaric opinions and chauvinism on the unsuspecting women of the world. The exposure then leads to a social conversation, which then creates a divide in public opinion.
Tip, T.I. Harris is the newest fool to fully show his butt. While on the podcast, Ladies Like Us, T.I. darkened the world by discussing his annual trips to the gynecologist with his now 18-year old daughter to check her hymen.
It is a practice, he allegedly, started after her 16th birthday and continues to this day regardless of protests from her doctor. TI says, "The doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism. He’s like, 'Well, you know sir, I have to, in order for me to share information...'" T.I. said, trailing off. "I said, 'Deyjah, they want you to sign this... so we can share information. Is there anything that you would not want me to know? Oh, OK. See, Doc? Ain't no problem.'" Pushing forward to dispel the myth that virginity is only maintained with an intact hymen, the doctor informs TI of other ways hymens can be broken outside of intercourse. TI recounts the events as, "They come and say, 'OK, 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,'" he recalled. "So 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.'"
Side Bar: I am incredibly sick of TI using the word expeditiously. The social media era is so vapid, that a rapper using one 5-syllable word somehow catapults him into esoteric realm of scholar? We now look to TI as an intellectual whose opinion on subject matter hold weight? Good job for expanding your vocabulary TI, but perhaps expand your mind as well.
Now as an adult woman, it is very easy to see the power dynamics in this situation. At 18, although Deyjah is considered a legal adult, there still exists a dependency on her parents and a desire to please them. Whether she signed them because she truly wanted to or because she felt coercion won't be known unless Deyjah decides to speak on the issue.
This conversation struck a chord within me and other women for numerous reasons. First, it is a twisted misuse of parental rights. Some of the arguments online and other platforms justify TI's behavior by stating he has parental rights. Essentially, she is his daughter, therefore, he has the right to medically violate her with hymen checks to confirm her virginity. This argument walks a fine line in my opinion between sexual assault and medicine. It harkens to the early days when mothers would check their daughter's panties for evidence or lack thereof of their sexual promiscuity. It brings flashbacks of the scene within Dorothy Dandridge played by Halle Berry where her mother physically inserted her fingers into her vagina to check her hymen. In 2019,I suppose those methods are too barbaric, so TI uses the guise of medicine to essentially do the same procedure.
Parents, especially, male parents do NOT have the right to violate their 16-year old daughters for their sins. TI is a known adulterer and it seems his annual appointments with his daughter may not be for the necessity of her personal welfare. It is out of fear of his karma! He is afraid that the misogynistic dirt he did will land squarely on his daughter's vagina. If he was medically concerned for his children's sexual activity; it would not stop solely on his daughter. He explicitly stated he does not give this same rigor to his sons; therefore, this is a gross abuse of control not parental guidance. Furthermore, women whom abstain from sex aren't required to get yearly pelvic exams until 21, (this is currently being debated). Thinking about that from another perspective, he is having his virgin daughter subjected to a pelvic exam for only his benefit. Seems pretty sick to me!
2nd Side Bar: He also publicly embarrassed his daughter. He got on his soapbox to congratulate himself on his "good" parenting based on his daughter's virginity. Thereby public ousting her sexual activity to millions upon millions of people.
Another version of this argument heard recently on the popular radio show, The Breakfast Club, where DJ Envy & Charlemagne Da God proclaim this was an example of paternal involvement. Their patriarchal argument was there are several men who abandon their children leaving them utterly fatherless, and we should applaud TI for remaining in his daughter's (and other children) life. They continue to discuss how every father wants to keep his daughter a virgin as long as possible. They both agree that this is just a clever tactic to ensure your daughter remains off the penis. DJ Envy goes so far as to say he would do it himself if he knew the strategy would deter his own daughter from having sex. Charlemagne chimed in with his opinions on also maintaining the sexual purity of his daughter, while acknowledging they will one day partake in oral sex; however, ultimately sided with TI. The prevailing issue in these arguments, is somehow it is the responsibility of the father to regulate his daughter's sexuality. Somehow he is doing his parental duty by keeping his daughter abstinent by any means necessary. That is "the good father". It touches slightly on my the "Toxicity of the Ride of Die Chick" post earlier. That men see themselves as protectors and providers only instead of life coaches or confidants in their daughter's lives.
Female sexuality is a complex and evolving topic that will continue to be explored. However, men whether a parent or not have no right to dictate when or how a woman loses her virginity. In the US, many middle eastern mandates for women are seen as overbearing or damning to women; however, practices such as TI are divided. I see no difference in the underlying reasoning behind both. Checking his daughter's hymen, legislation around birth control and abortion as well as foreign practices preventing women from speaking or wearing certain clothes present controlling behavior toward women. They both announce the female body is not her own, and send us one step closer to The Handmaid's Tale. Men should focus their energy on understanding consent, sexual assault, and uplifting women, which includes their daughters rather than provocative ways to control.