TI's 'virginity test' for his daughter is disgusting – but the real tragedy is how many other men would do the same.

Sometimes I’m thankful that there are people out there who are so deeply misogynistic that they will openly admit to it – even brag about it – for all the world to hear. Because without them, things stay silent and hidden and people say things like: “I just think feminism’s gone too far now.” I don’t think anyone will be saying that today, after reading TI’s comments about his adult daughter’s sex life.

The rapper admitted on a podcast that he takes his now 18-year-old daughter Deyjah to a gynaecologist every year after her birthday, asks her to consent to her confidential medical information being shared with him, and then demands a doctor confirms that her hymen remains intact.

It’s unclear whether this is supposed to be a form of deterrence so that this woman never has PIV (penis-in-vagina) sex, or whether there is some sort of punishment that would come into play were the doctor’s conclusion to be that she had indeed done so. But suffice to say that TI’s 15-year-old son does not have to face any kind of similarly controlling behaviour.

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Metoo movement – in pictures

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2017
2018
2017
2018

Metoo movement – in pictures

2017

1/24 2017

A picture shows the messages "#Me too" and #Balancetonporc ("expose your pig") on the hand of a protester during a gathering against gender-based and sexual violence called by the Effronte-e-s Collective, on the Place de la Republique square in Paris

AFP/Getty

2018

2/24 2018

Italian actress Asia Argento (C) and US singer and actress Rose McGowan, who both accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, take part in a march organised by 'Non Una Di Meno' (Me too) movement as part of the International Women's Day in Rome

AFP/Getty

2017

3/24 2017

Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and their supporters protest during a #MeToo march in Hollywood, California

AFP/Getty

2018

4/24 2018

South Korean women staging a monthly protest against secretly-filmed spycam pornography in Seoul. Since May 2018, the monthly demonstrations against secretly-filmed spycam pornography in Seoul has shattered records to become the biggest-ever women's protest in South Korea where the global #MeToo movement has unleashed an unprecedented wave of female-led activism

AFP/Getty

2017

5/24 2017

Swedish MEP Linnéa Engström sits behind a placard placed on her desk that reads "Me too" during a debate about combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU at the European Parliament in Strasbourg

AFP/Getty

2018

6/24 2018

Activists participate in front of the Brandenburg Gate in a demonstration for women's rights in Berlin

Getty

2018

7/24 2018

A McDonald's employee holds a sign during a protest against sexual harassment in the workplace in Chicago

AFP/Getty

2018

8/24 2018

An activist participates in the 2018 #MeToo March in Hollywood

Getty

2018

9/24 2018

Women protest in New York

Getty

2018

10/24 2018

Women hold a banner reading "still feminist" with the Eiffel tower in background

AFP/Getty

2017

11/24 2017

French activist Jean-Baptiste Redde, aka Voltuan, holds a placard as protesters take part in a gathering against gender-based and sexual violence in Paris

AFP/Getty

2018

12/24 2018

Activists and advocates for survivors of sexual abuse, including Democratic candidate for Illinois governor at the time JB Prtizker (left), gather in the Federal Building Plaza to protest the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in Chicago, Illinois after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted out Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and agreed to an additional week of investigation into accusations of sexual assault against him before the full Senate votes on his confirmation. Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teens

Getty

2018

13/24 2018

A group describing themselves as #MeToo/#YoTambien survivors, hold a candlelight vigil outside the Mexico Consulate to support the women taking part in the human caravan heading through Mexico to the US border

AFP/Getty

2017

14/24 2017

Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and their supporters protest during a #MeToo march in Hollywood

AFP/Getty

2018

15/24 2018

South Korean demonstrators hold banners during a rally to mark International Women's Day

AFP/Getty

2018

16/24 2018

Dozens of women and men attend a rally and march in Washington Square Park for international Women's Day in New York

Getty

2017

17/24 2017

People carry signs addressing the issue of sexual harassment at a #MeToo rally outside of Trump International Hotel in New York

Getty

2017

18/24 2017

Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and their supporters protest during a #MeToo march in Hollywood

AFP/Getty

2018

19/24 2018

South Korean demonstrators hold banners during a rally to mark International Women's Day

AFP/Getty

2018

20/24 2018

Dozens of protesters against the confirmation of Republican Supreme court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh gather outside of Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer's office on the afternoon that Professor Christine Blasey Ford testified against Kavanaugh in New York

Getty

2018

21/24 2018

Activists and advocates for survivors of sexual abuse gather in the Federal Building Plaza in Chicago

Getty

2018

22/24 2018

Dozens of women and men attend a rally and march in Washington Square Park

Getty

2017

23/24 2017

People carry signs addressing the issue of sexual harassment at a #MeToo rally outside of Trump International Hotel

Getty

2018

24/24 2018

Activists and advocates for survivors of sexual abuse gather in the Federal Building Plaza to protest the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Getty

2017

1/24 2017

A picture shows the messages "#Me too" and #Balancetonporc ("expose your pig") on the hand of a protester during a gathering against gender-based and sexual violence called by the Effronte-e-s Collective, on the Place de la Republique square in Paris

AFP/Getty

2018

2/24 2018

Italian actress Asia Argento (C) and US singer and actress Rose McGowan, who both accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, take part in a march organised by 'Non Una Di Meno' (Me too) movement as part of the International Women's Day in Rome

AFP/Getty

2017

3/24 2017

Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and their supporters protest during a #MeToo march in Hollywood, California

AFP/Getty

2018

4/24 2018

South Korean women staging a monthly protest against secretly-filmed spycam pornography in Seoul. Since May 2018, the monthly demonstrations against secretly-filmed spycam pornography in Seoul has shattered records to become the biggest-ever women's protest in South Korea where the global #MeToo movement has unleashed an unprecedented wave of female-led activism

AFP/Getty

2017

5/24 2017

Swedish MEP Linnéa Engström sits behind a placard placed on her desk that reads "Me too" during a debate about combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU at the European Parliament in Strasbourg

AFP/Getty

2018

6/24 2018

Activists participate in front of the Brandenburg Gate in a demonstration for women's rights in Berlin

Getty

2018

7/24 2018

A McDonald's employee holds a sign during a protest against sexual harassment in the workplace in Chicago

AFP/Getty

2018

8/24 2018

An activist participates in the 2018 #MeToo March in Hollywood

Getty

2018

9/24 2018

Women protest in New York

Getty

2018

10/24 2018

Women hold a banner reading "still feminist" with the Eiffel tower in background

AFP/Getty

2017

11/24 2017

French activist Jean-Baptiste Redde, aka Voltuan, holds a placard as protesters take part in a gathering against gender-based and sexual violence in Paris

AFP/Getty

2018

12/24 2018

Activists and advocates for survivors of sexual abuse, including Democratic candidate for Illinois governor at the time JB Prtizker (left), gather in the Federal Building Plaza to protest the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in Chicago, Illinois after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted out Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and agreed to an additional week of investigation into accusations of sexual assault against him before the full Senate votes on his confirmation. Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teens

Getty

2018

13/24 2018

A group describing themselves as #MeToo/#YoTambien survivors, hold a candlelight vigil outside the Mexico Consulate to support the women taking part in the human caravan heading through Mexico to the US border

AFP/Getty

2017

14/24 2017

Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and their supporters protest during a #MeToo march in Hollywood

AFP/Getty

2018

15/24 2018

South Korean demonstrators hold banners during a rally to mark International Women's Day

AFP/Getty

2018

16/24 2018

Dozens of women and men attend a rally and march in Washington Square Park for international Women's Day in New York

Getty

2017

17/24 2017

People carry signs addressing the issue of sexual harassment at a #MeToo rally outside of Trump International Hotel in New York

Getty

2017

18/24 2017

Victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and their supporters protest during a #MeToo march in Hollywood

AFP/Getty

2018

19/24 2018

South Korean demonstrators hold banners during a rally to mark International Women's Day

AFP/Getty

2018

20/24 2018

Dozens of protesters against the confirmation of Republican Supreme court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh gather outside of Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer's office on the afternoon that Professor Christine Blasey Ford testified against Kavanaugh in New York

Getty

2018

21/24 2018

Activists and advocates for survivors of sexual abuse gather in the Federal Building Plaza in Chicago

Getty

2018

22/24 2018

Dozens of women and men attend a rally and march in Washington Square Park

Getty

2017

23/24 2017

People carry signs addressing the issue of sexual harassment at a #MeToo rally outside of Trump International Hotel

Getty

2018

24/24 2018

Activists and advocates for survivors of sexual abuse gather in the Federal Building Plaza to protest the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Getty

Predictably and rightly, people are outraged. But when you really unpack TI’s actions, they don’t really seem that far removed from how many men – and society at large – view women and female sexuality.

Female virginity is upheld as a “virtue”, something to be proud of and to protect and eventually, to “lose”. This feeds into the narrative that straight men will always want to have sex, and women’s only social power lies in their ability to withhold it. It not only completely ignores the complexity of sexual politics, but also reinforces the idea that women’s sexuality should be centred around men. Like so many other fathers, TI seems to believe that his daughter’s sexuality is his until he decides to let her pass it on to another man.

That somewhere in Georgia there is a doctor who allowed this to happen is further evidence that this mentality is not rare – even if (hopefully) the actual scenario is. Now that Deyjah is 18, her medical privacy is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Hipaa). TI explained how he got around this: “[The doctor] is like, ‘Well, you know sir, I have to, in order to share information’. I’m like, ‘Deyjah, they want you to sign this ... so we can share information. Is there anything you would not want me to know?’ ‘See doc? No problem.’” Could this be a sign that his daughter is being controlled and manipulated?

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TI has been convicted of possession of three unregistered machine guns and two silencers. He has said that he would never vote for a female president because women “make rash decisions”. He was involved in Robin Thicke’s widely criticised “Blurred Lines” which, in my opinion, trivializes sexual consent. And now he’s openly admitted to wanting to control what his daughter does with her vagina. For a doctor to watch a man ask a woman to give up her right to sexual privacy and go along with it is a shocking dereliction of care which should fill us all with a sense of dread, especially when the man in question is misogynistic, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking it’s a one-off.

Among the conservative religious right, so-called purity balls are not uncommon, where girls as young as 12 (and sometimes even younger) essentially pledge to not have sex before marriage, and fathers are tasked with “protecting their purity”. Similarly, the angry dad on prom night telling a teenage boy that if he touches his daughter he’ll kill him is such an ingrained trope in film and TV that it’s no wonder girls grow up thinking that love means giving up all bodily autonomy to a man.

We see the culmination of such a mentality in most weddings, which still by and large see a woman dressed in virginal white being “given” to her husband by her father. While most people don’t take this literally, the symbolism still matters – it is the living embodiment of patriarchal supremacy.

To be disgusted and outraged at TI’s comments is appropriate, but to suggest that it’s an exceptional case is dangerous. If we want to exist in an equal world, we need to dismantle the idea that women’s sexuality is for men to control, own and benefit from. It doesn’t matter if the man is your husband, your father or the president of the United States. Until we begin to see the social patterns that have led us to this point, cases like this will continue to happen in big and small ways every day, whether we hear about them because the subject is famous or not.

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