T.I., double-standards and misogyny

T.I. and his daughter, Deyjah Harris. Photos courtesy Getty Images

When it comes to parenting, it’s normal for parents to want to know if their kids are sexually active. The main questions they’ll usually ask their kids are: “Are you being safe?” and “How long have you been having sex?”

Society has set double standards on how to react when a female loses her virginity versus their male counterpart. It is not uncommon for a female to receive a more harsh or strict reaction from their parents versus a male if they admit they are sexually active.

While men might receive high fives and cheers for losing their virginity, women may be looked down upon and shamed for losing their “precious” virginity. Parents tend to be more strict on their daughters and the protection of their virginity while showing less concern when it comes to their sons.

Rapper T.I., known as Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., is currently on blast on social media for policing his daughter, Deyjah Harris, and her virginity.

According to Moriba Cummings, “T.I.’s daughter Deyjah Harris unfollows him on Twitter following virginity comments,” T.I. was a guest star on the Ladies Like Us podcast hosted by Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham and admitted that he accompanies his daughter to her gynecologist  appointments to “check her hymen” to make sure she remains a virgin.

“But I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact,” T.I. said during the podcast.

When it comes to his 15-year old son, King Harris, the rapper is not as stern on his sexual lifestyle. According to Jazmine Ortiz’s “Footage of T.I.’s 15-year-old son discussing being sexually active resurfaces after the rapper’s remarks on 18-year-old daughter’s virginity,” in June, King admitted to being sexually active for a year on their reality show “Family Hustle.”

“However, I will definitely feel different about a boy than I will about a girl. And that’s just the God’s honest truth. I don’t think there’s any father out there who’ll tell you any different,” T.I. said.

T.I. isn’t the only father who shares these sentiments when it comes to this topic. This shared mindset should be seen as misogynistic and crude.

For T.I. or any adult to see the medical records and results of their adult children, a consent form must be signed by the patient.

“There is a consent form for relatives and friends to be informed of a party’s medical records. Patients can give consent to that,” said Willye Green, a certified medical assistant at Florida A&M.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) ensures a Privacy Rule (Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information) that sets national standards for the protection of certain health information. The Privacy Rule protects all “individually identifiable health information” held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, including data relating to:

  • the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition,
  • the provision of health care to the individual, or
  • the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual

According to Ortiz’s article, Harris signed a form allowing T.I. access to her medical records. Yet, the problem still stands that T.I. openly spoke about her medical history, referencing that her hymen is still intact and that she remains a virgin.

A trip to the gynecologist is no small task. OB-GYN doctors specialize in treating diseases of female reproductive systems. To observe the genitalia area, OB-GYNs probe their area with a speculum, but this can be highly uncomfortable for a person who has not been penetrated before.

“We have to take in consideration that if you’re a virgin, you have to consider you’re penetrating someone who has not been penetrated. A GYN exam consists of a speculum of scraping vaginal cells to observe under a microscope to see if they’re healthy,” said Greene.

“We can take the speculum and look and scrape some vaginal cells and look under the microscope to see what’s going on there at the cells and see if they’re healthy,” added Family Nurse Practioner Natasha Hester.

Comments spammed T.I’s account with the words “disgusting” and “possessive” and, to top it off, his daughter unfollowed him on Instagram and Twitter.

Senior interdisciplinary studies student Tiye Garrett-Mills shares similar sentiment about T.I.’s actions.

“His investment in his daughter’s perceived virginity is so creepy, it’s like he owns her sexuality. Especially since he’s not going anywhere with his sons,” said Garrett-Mills. “It’s overstepping of boundaries, it’s possessive, [and] it’s got a weird perverse sexual side.”

I believe if parents are willing to check on the sexual activities of their children, they should share the same reactions and not be biased on how they feel when they find out their child is having sex.