There's no way good way to start this story, so I'll just dive right in. In a now-deleted episode, rapper T.I. spoke with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham on their Ladies Like Us podcastand oh boy, he horrified the internet when he discussed his daughter's hymen. T.I. explained how he escorts his 18-year-old daughter to her annual gynecologist exams, just to find out from her physician if her hymen is still intact — i.e., that she's still a virgin. Yes, he went there, and now everyone is grossed out by and furious at his comments.

Naturally, the backlash was swift and severe, with many pointing out that this is a form of emotional abuse. It has its roots in the purity myth, sure, but it's deeply controlling behavior that should be unacceptable to us all.

Here are the full comments, if you can stomach it.

Since the podcast episode has been deleted (with Mandi and Moham issuing an apology, see below), you can't listen to the interview via your usual podcast apps. But nothing on the internet dies forever, and there are videos and transcripts of the recording. Be warned, this language is graphic, emphasis is ours.

According to BuzzFeed News' transcripts, the comments arose from a question about how T.I. approaches talking about sex and reproduction with his children. "Not only have we had the conversation, we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen," he said. T.I. also said that his daughter signed a medical release form. "[I said to her] they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you would not want me to know? See, Doc? Ain't no problem."

The ob-gyn explained to T.I. that there are many ways to tear the hymen tissue, "like bike riding, athletics, horseback riding, and just other forms of physical activity. I said, she don't ride no horses, she don't ride no bikes, she don't play no sports," said T.I., in explaining why he assumes his daughter's hymen must still be intact. (This is medically inaccurate.)

"Just check the hymen, please," he continues, as the hosts laugh in the background. "And give me back my results. Expeditiously. I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact."

We'll give you a minute while you take a cold shower.


The backlash was brutal and swift — starting with the podcast hosts.

Mandi and Moham deleted the episode and issued an apology for laughing at T.I.'s comments in the background. In an Instagram post, they wrote that they were "caught off-guard" and that they feel "deeply awful about the entire incident."

The internet put T.I.'s misogynistic behavior on blast.

T.I. has attempted to rebrand himself as woke. The Atlanta-based rapper was a passionate Obama supporter and has worked to improve conditions for residents in his neighborhood — which makes his comments even worse. Folks expected more from a rapper who seemingly has his heart in the right place.

Others were quick to point out how this is abusive behavior.

Twitter user @rain4estwhitaka explains that the abusive behavior here is twofold: sexual invasion of privacy and emotional control over health and body. 

It should go without saying, but any parent subjecting any of their children to virginity tests (medically unscientific or otherwise) or any other form of sexual policing is absolutely abusive.


Music critic Jes Skolnik points out that T.I.'s wife, Tiny, and his daughter can't even respond to his comments.

By nature of this awful invasion of privacy, it's quite possible that T.I.'s daughter and wife can't speak out. 

Others expressed concern for his daughter.

As this tweet points out, his daughter's medical history is a news subject — without her consent. Simply put, it's a manifestation of rape culture: That female bodies, especially those of color, are public property, and their worthiness comes from their sexual purity or lack thereof. T.I. isn't just stripping his daughter of her agency; he's equating her virginity with her value as a human. 

Ding, ding, ding. This tweet right here nails it.

The double standard with sexuality is so real, and this tweet illustrates how T.I. is playing into this archaic and patriarchal notion. It's 2019 — can we get it together and raise boys and girls the same way?

As Rolling Stone points out, this is part of a worldwide pattern.

Virginity testing is a major problem in many parts of the world. Leaving aside the fact that such tests are medically inaccurate, Rolling Stone explains that such tests are routinely practiced in other parts of the world for purposes of marriages and employment:

"Although the test is most frequently associated with determining a woman’s eligibility for marriage, it has been used for other purposes as well; in Indonesia, for instance, the test is used to determine female applicants’ suitability for the police force  ...

The penalty for “failing” a virginity test can be steep. In Afghanistan, for instance, where premarital sex is a crime, until 2018 the law stated that women and girls could be incarcerated for up to three months for failing virginity tests. In some extreme cases, young women who have failed virginity tests have taken their own lives or been murdered by their own family members for violating their family’s honor."


Planned Parenthood clapped back with science.

Planned Parenthood, like all of us, were shocked at T.I.'s misogyny and lack of medical knowledge. "Some people think you can tell if someone’s had sex before if their hymen is stretched open. But that’s not the case. Say it with us: YOU CAN’T TELL IF SOMEONE’S HAD SEX BY THE WAY THEIR HYMEN LOOKS OR FEELS," PP wrote on Twitter as part of a longer thread about vaginal health.

VIRGINITY ISN'T A REAL THING ANYWAY!!!

Virginity as a marker of anything isn't real. One's sexual history does not dictate their worth as a human being, their values, their morals, their ethics, or their spiritual practice. Virginity just means that a person has not had sex — and remember, sex takes many forms that aren't just penis-in-vagina intercourse.

The idea of virginity especially affects girls and women of color, who are already hypersexualized in our culture. Fetishizing virginity only makes sexually active POC seen as more unworthy of basic rights and respect.

T.I., please get yourself out of your daughter's doctor's office and read black feminist writers who can teach you a thing or two.

Revelist has reached out to T.I.'s representative for comment.