Did you catch a whiff of the outrage about virginity testing that has been making rounds on social media? All credit to TI the famous rapper and actor in movies such as Ant-Man and the Wasp, American gangster, Entourage and Marvel to name a few. TI is a father of six children, Messiah, Domani, Clifford, Major, Heiress and Deyjah. Something he said about Deyjah is what is making him look very possessive and controlling.
Recently the rapper revealed on a podcast, that each year, he accompanies his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris, to a gynaecologist for a hymen checkup. When he was asked why he said this yearly trip is usually made to ensure that his daughter’s virginity is intact.
Twitter was ready for him. Take a look at some of the tweets that ensued from his revelation.
We don't need to take T.I. to a pharmacologist and a proctologist to confirm that he's a toxic asshole.
While these tweets express what is really a perverted, backward and very toxic way of treating another human being – in a light way, we can’t help but question what makes TI feel it’s justified to take Deyjah to these check-ups.
For this, first, we have to take a look at how the concept of virginity has been construed over the years and some of the lies we’ve grown up believing about virginity.
Being a virgin equates to being pure
We grew up believing that virginity was a form of purity and it was to be broken by the man who walks you down the aisle. While chastity in all truth is a virtue, being a virgin is not directly proportional to being pure. If it is, then it would mean that society perceives men as the carriers of filth creating even more gender disparities while empirically placing pressure on women to regulate their sexuality.
Being a virgin proves that one has never had sex
Again in this century, we have established that vaginal sex is not the only form of sex there is. While we’re at it if someone only had sex with other women, isn’t she still a virgin? Hence being a virgin doesn’t warrant the lack of sexual activity nor does it denote the lack of sexual experience and know-how as many including TI would like to believe.
Your partner can tell if you’ve had sex before
This is another myth that has been used to regulate women’s sexual activity. Case in point; remember that scene in a movie/novel where the heroine has a wedding in white and after their first night, blood is left on the sheets? That only happens to women in movies/novels. In reality, not all women bleed/break their hymen. Some don’t even know whether a hymen is a real thing or just a concept in biology. Hymens are different for everyone. I am still a virgin at 30, none of my friends knows.
Idk who needs to hear this but virginity is a made-up social construct, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your hymen.
Many people think the hymen totally covers the opening of your vagina until it’s stretched open, but that’s not usually the case. Most hymens naturally have a hole big enough for period blood to come out and for you to use tampons comfortably.
Some people just naturally have hymens that are more open. And many other activities besides sex can stretch your hymen — like riding a bike, doing sports, or putting something in your vagina (like a tampon or finger). Once your hymen is stretched open, it can’t grow back.
Therefore, if as a woman you cannot tell whether your hymen broke due to natural causes or not, how can a man?
Being a virgin guarantees love and status
In essence, this myth came to form as a result of religious teachings and social values that ingrained that a virgin/ “pure woman” deserved a higher bride price and was to be placed on a pedestal. As a result, in order for families and women, mostly those in Africa, Southern Asia and the Middle East to maintain their reputations and attain good relationships, virginity became a tool of cultural, social, emotional and religious significance in these societies.
The hymen is not proof of virginity. Even TI is woke enough to acknowledge this truth. On the same note it is also not a must you bleed during your first vaginal sex, a myth that has been reinforced by movies time and again. Different people go through different experiences.
Virginity is a social construct that continues to make life difficult for women as well as birth some of the heinous crimes there is. Have you heard about honour killings? Virginity stands as the main cause of such killings, which are done in the name of enforcing purity and social reputations.
It is important to debunk some of the oppressing beliefs/traditions that have come to define women, their sexuality and their roles in society. FGM in order to reduce sexual libido also falls in this category.
I am also sure that TI doesn’t insist his boys go get checked if they are still virgins, I don’t think there is a check for men. That said, don’t you think it’s unfair, sexist and redundant that one moment in life should define a human being and yet it will come to pass and be forgotten like most things in life?
Channelling Miley Cyrus who also provoked many by posting on her Instagram that virginity is a social construct, I support that women should be able to do with their bodies what they please without stigma, guilt or punishment. Just as men do. Watch this.
I am a writer with interest in hair, beauty and fashion. I also like telling stories, but most of all I enjoy listening and reading them. If I'm not doing any of the above, I will be trying to crack a game of chess or monopoly. My biggest fear is being ordinary.