Why TI’s ‘virginity check’ is a privacy violation


Courtesy of Twitter

Planned Parenthood tweeted a series of informative messages after the T.I. story broke.

Jade Pinkowitz, Editor-in-Chief

Rapper T.I. publicly and proudly admitted on the podcast Ladies Like Us that he accompanies his daughter to the gynecologist every year to ensure that her hymen is intact in an attempt to ensure she is still a virgin.

First of all, in what world is it acceptable for a father to disregard his daughter’s privacy this badly? Not only did he coerce her into signing away her doctor-patient confidentiality, but he also told THE ENTIRE WORLD about it. Imagine your dad talking to a complete stranger about your sex life (or lack thereof) and bragging about the fact that he’s invading your personal space.

Now multiply that embarrassment, anger, and intrusiveness by millions. It’s mortifying and honestly just disgusting. There are so many societal standards and stereotypes about the female body and how women should behave. Not to mention the fact that he has totally different standards for his daughter than for his sons. He chooses to regulate his daughter’s body but brags about his sons getting girls.

And even worse, his little “virginity checks” are completely based in myth.

One of the most common misconceptions about the female body is that all girls have their hymen ripped when they first have sex. However, this isn’t true. Not only are there different types of hymens, but there are different ways a hymen can be “broken” (it really just gets stretched). The tissue that makes up the hymen can be stretched by walking, running, playing a sport, riding a bike, using tampons, and a multitude of other activities. So, while it is true that a stretched hymen can be due to sex, it still cannot determine whether or not a woman had sex.

“A virgin is someone who’s never had sex. But ‘sex’ means different things to different people, so ‘virginity’ does too. Many [people] don’t care what it means or think it matters,” Planned Parenthood tweeted. “Whatever you believe, the fact is you can’t tell if someone’s had sex by checking their hymen.”

Sometimes, women catch a small break in feminism and gain something like a woman in the running for president or the accountability brought by the MeToo movement, but way too often stories break that stops us from finally taking a step closer to equality and safety; stories like Brock Turner only getting six months in jail, Brett Kavanaugh getting confirmed despite Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, and this ridiculous virginity check story.

Growing up in a newer generation with peers who are more open-minded has given us the privilege of optimism towards the feminist and equality movements. But then we hear things like this that take us back to when women would have to display the blood on their bedsheets the day after their wedding night to prove they were virgins before marriage.

Not only has T.I. shown complete disrespect to his daughter as an individual by invading her privacy, but he has also disrespected the female population as a whole. He openly admitted to treating his daughter like property — to basing her worth off her virginity. It’s 2019, not 1919. Women are doing incredible things and have shown that they don’t need a man to “take care” of them. We are worth more than just our reproductive systems.

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