Editor’s Note: T.I. isn’t fatherly, he’s creepy
American rapper T.I. recently made headlines and regained some of his lost relevance since 2010 for the troubling comments he made regarding his teenage daughter on the podcast Ladies Like Us.
During the episode, he told the two hosts that he accompanies his daughter to her annual gynecologist appointments to make sure that her “hymen is still intact.”
T.I.’s bizzare admission contained a series of justifications about his decision to attend — which should be private — appointments with his 18-year-old child.
He commented that he realizes the hymen can be broken in more ways than just sex, yet stated, “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.’”
T.I. continued by acknowledging that his 15 year-old son is sexually active, but the same standards are not applied to him.
This baffling segment was followed by an onslaught of criticism after the internet caught wind of his statements — and rightfully so.
There’s quite a lot to unpack with such a terrible confession regarding the bodily autonomy of his daughter, who, in the eyes of the law, is legally an adult. And even if she wasn’t, there would still be no excuse for this level of controlling behaviour.
Not only is virginity testing a practice that has been deemed unethical and inaccurate by countless physicians and medical professionals, it plays into the incredibly problematic notion that a woman’s “virginity” — something that is entirely subjective and holds no true medical merit — is something to be proven and used as a tool to shame women’s bodies, choices and, what should be, their own sexual freedom.
And while it might seem like T.I. is an outlier, this “two-finger test” is not as uncommon as people would like to believe. According to a 2016 survey discussed in Rolling Stone, of 288 physicians, 10 per cent were asked by parents and family members of patients to do the test and 34 per cent said they had performed it themselves.
You would think that in 2019, practices like this would remain in the past where they belong (and should have never existed to begin with), but it seems that, in many ways, society still has a long way to go.
T.I. has successfully placed himself on the top of the douchebag list this week, and his poor daughter, the victim of his possessive transgressions, seems to be in agreement with that sentiment, as indicated by the tweets she’s liked that have disgraced his actions.
And while I don’t believe the podcast hosts are completely blameless in this situation — they have since removed his segment from the episode and issued a public apology — I don’t think it’s on them to apologize for a man’s inappropriate behavior. Their reaction to his confession, although questionable, was likely out of discomfort and surprise, and the focus should primarily be on T.I.’s statements, not them.
No matter what your beliefs on parenting are, the bodies of young girls and women are not the possessions of their parents. T.I.’s actions cross personal boundaries that venture into unquestionable creepiness — and he has simultaneously outed his controlling behaviour while exposing personal information about his daughter, who I’m sure feels humiliated by this violation of privacy.
Regardless of whether or not T.I. addresses this (hopefully) career-ruining admission, an apology won’t really cut it.
I just hope, for his daughter’s sake, that she is able to move past this and far away from her father.