Rapper T.I. ignited a major controversy after appearing on the podcast Ladies Like Us. He told hosts Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham that he routinely had his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris, checked to ensure that her hymen is still intact.
“Deylah’s 18, just graduated high school now and she’s attending her first year of college, figuring it out for herself. And yes, not only have we had the conversation, we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen.
So it’s this one time we go, I think this might have been after her 16th birthday,” T.I. said. “This is what we do… Usually, like the day after the [birthday] party, she’s enjoying her gifts. I put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.’
So then [the doctor says], ‘I just want you to know there are other ways besides sex that the hymen can be broken,” he said in part. “Like bike riding, athletics, horseback riding and just other forms of athletic physical activity. So I said, ‘Look doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bikes, she don’t play no sports. Just check the hymen, please. And give me back my results expeditiously.”
“T.I. is an abusive misogynist. He demands his daughter’s gynecologist disclose the results of an annual ‘hymen check’ to him so he can ensure she’s still a virgin. When it comes to his wife, ‘that little sex box you got is half mine.’ This isn’t over-protective. It’s abusive.”
Sex educator Logan Levkoff also tweeted about the incident.
“I need all people of all genders to feel total SHAME about going to the gynecologist to manage their kids’ virginity. SHAME IS THE APPROPRIATE REACTION. Talking to you, TI. And virginity is a social construct and not measured by a hymen.”
“def did not think we would be talking about hymens today. or TI.”
T.I.’s wife, Tiny Harris, posted a picture of herself with the rapper with the caption “Mi amor for siempre…” A commenter asked “Is Deyjah ok? We care…” Her response to this question about her stepdaughter’s wellbeing? Three eye rolling emojis.
People were not thrilled at that response, sounding off in the replies.
“Yeah hat’s such a great response when her father literally humiliated her in front of the world and not only that let it slip the vile act you allowed him to have done. Seems like no one stood up for that girl and her RIGHTS to her OWN body. But go ahead and roll your eyes though like you don’t look like a huge joke. Congratulations parent of the year.”
“Don’t don’t even do that. What kind of parents are you? Honestly not the good type. U hurt your own child mentally she’s just staring college BE ASHAMED.”
“For you, as a woman, to respond like this….. is so disappointing.”
“Seriously!! As a woman…mother and wife it is your responsibility to check your husband & protect your kids! This is an invasion of YOUR daughter’s privacy!! Stand up for her mom!”
T.I. has yet to comment on the controversy or address the backlash.
For her part, Deyjah hasn’t commented directly about her father’s behavior, but she has been sending subtle shade his way all week. She liked a couple of tweets referring to his behavior as abusive and disgusting, and has unfollowed him and Harris on social media.
Now that she’s 18 and legally an adult, here’s hoping that Deyjah is able to take back some of her bodily autonomy and start making decisions about her own life.