- DEMI LYNCH -
Rapper T.I has experienced many weeks of media backlash after he made controversial comments about his daughter's virginity during an interview on the "Ladies Like Us" podcast.
When being interviewed by podcast hosts Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham he told them he goes to the gynaecologist with his daughter Deyjah Harris yearly to make sure her hymen is still in tact.
He told the podcast hosts he does this to ensure she is still a virgin.
Since the podcast interview aired in early November T.I has remained quiet.
Until this week when he was featured on Jada Pinkett Smith's “Red Table Talk,” where he discussed the public's outrage over his comments (or as he referred it - "hymen gate").
There were several things T.I wanted to make clear while on the Facebook Watch talkshow:
- He was not in the exam room while Deyjah was having her hymen looked at by a doctor.
- Now Deyjah is 18 she no longer gets "virginity tests" but she did when she was younger.
- The mother (Tiny Harris - who sat with T.I during the Red Table Talk interview) was always present in the room during the examination.
- He apologised to his daughter that he brought up the hymen testing during the podcast interview.
- And he said he believes there's a 'false narrative that's been sensationalised' by the media.
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During his chat on the show the rapper said these hymen tests were done because young teen boys have "animalistic urges" and would "defile and destroy" his daughter.
Jada asked T.I what would he have done if he found out Deyjah lost her virginity before turning 18 - he seemed baffled at this idea.
"Your childhood ends when you lose your virginity," T.I said, "I can't let you [Deyjah] run around trying to enjoy the luxuries of adulthood without any of the responsibilities of adulthood.
But when asked to compare the importance of his daughter's virginity to his sons' his response was yet again controversial.
"If my son goes out and gets a girl pregnant how is the household changed for those 9 months? The household does not necessarily change those 9 months. Whereas if my daughter comes home, my household is changed immediately. So the stakes are higher." T.I said.
T.I did this interview to "set the record straight" and "clear up any misconceptions," but instead he just made things worse for his public image.
He did not apologise for making his daughter get yearly virginity tests.
And by the end of the interview he still remained to think women's virginities should be treasured.
I do wish with this interview we had more perspectives on the matter of "virginity testing."
If Jada's 19 year old daughter Willow Smith was present during the interview what would she have said about fathers controlling their daughters' sexuality?
What are Deyjah's thoughts on her father getting her virginity tested as a teen?
And there are still many questions I want answered by T.I.
Does he educate his sons' to resist their "animalistic urges" and not "defile and destroy" women?
If so, why does he EDUCATE them about sex and instead CONTROL his daughters' sexuality?
If he was told by doctors the hymen tests don't actually prove a woman's virginity why did he still get them done?
What if his daughter was interested in women and not men - would he still get her hymen checked and be so concerned about her "losing her virginity?"
When his other daughters are older will he also be having their hymens checked after all the backlash he has received?
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Virginity testing is a worldwide issue that needs to be taken seriously.
It's "unreliable, invasive and sexist" and occurs in over 20 countries in the world.
T.I shouldn't have focused so much on getting the facts right.
It should have been a lesson for him - women's virginities should never be treasured by their fathers.
Announcer & Producer of 'The Nasty Woman Club Podcast'
Co-Producer & Co-Announcer of Radio 4EB program 'Fair Comment'
Former 102.1FM 4ZZZ Radio Announcer & Contributor