The 18-year-old daughter of American rapper T.I. has been subjected to annual “virginity tests” at the gynecologist and that sparked backlash from netizens.
T.I. revealed in a podcast that he takes Deyjah Harris to the gynecologist after each birthday to “check her hymen.”
“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,’” said T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris.
Deyjah is required to sign a waiver to allow the doctor to share the “results” with her father.
The ‘virginity tests’ began after Deyjah’s sixteenth birthday.
On Tuesday, the episode of the ‘Ladies Like Us’ podcast was released but then it was removed on Wednesday afternoon when it went viral on social media.
Netizens criticised Harris for the tests and they were concerned for Deyjah.
“It’s extremely abusive to police your daughter’s hymen and any doctor who would participate in such an act needs to lose their license,” tweeted author Ijeoma Oluo.
Another commenter, Jennifer Gunter who is a gynecologist and bestselling writer wrote: “hymen exams are medically not a thing,” and that the so-called tests “support a disgusting patriarchal trope.”
An intact hymen is not regarded as an effective way to test virginity because it can be easily broken without engaging in sexual activity.
Hosts of ‘Ladies Like Us’ Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham made fun of Harris’ comments and jokingly referred to Deyjah as a “prisoner.”
On Deyjah Harris’ Twitter account, she had “liked” comments that condemned the rapper’s behaviour with one describing it as “disgusting, possessive and controlling.”
39-year-old Harris is one of the forerunners of trap music, a type of hip-hop from the south of US with aggressive lyrics and 1980s-style drum machines.
Harris was in prison for seven months in 2009 when he tried to buy unregistered machine guns from dealers who were actually undercover agents.
After violating the terms of his probation on drug charges, he spent another 10 months in prison two years later.
Harris won three Grammy Awards with one of them being for the song “My Love”, a collaboration with Justin Timberlake. -/TISG