After T.I.'s controversial comments about accompanying his daughter to the gynecologist for virginity checks, two identical bills were passed to ban the practice and penalize those who do.
Responding to the backlash caused by T.I.’s revelations about his daughter’s visits to the gynecologist, New York lawmakers have introduced a bill banning “virginity checks.”
“These examinations are not only a violation of women's and girls' human rights, but in cases of rape can cause additional pain and mimic the original act of sexual violence..."
T.I. during a celebration of his birthday in September 2013. | Photo: Getty Images
A few weeks back, T.I. drew waves of attention due to an interview he gave where he proudly revealed he would accompany his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris on her yearly trips to her gynecologist to check if her hymen was still intact. The rapper’s intention was to ascertain that she was still a virgin.
Those who heard about his interview including his daughter took offense and deemed T.I.’s actions inappropriate and an invasion of his daughter’s privacy. This opened up a discussion on virginity checks and why this shouldn’t be a valid practice among medical practitioners.
T.I. during a performance in Atlanta in July 2018. | Photo: Getty Images
Due to the uproar over the issue, two identical bills were filed in the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly banning the practice of conducting virginity checks.
The bill introduced by Congressman Michaelle Solages indicates the prohibition of licensed medical practitioners from “performing or supervising virginity examinations.” It also proposes that practitioners who violate this will be subject to “professional misconduct penalties and possible criminal charges.”
The bill is further justified in one section which reads,
“These examinations are not only a violation of women's and girls' human rights, but in cases of rape can cause additional pain and mimic the original act of sexual violence, leading to re-experience, re-traumati-zation and re-victimization.”
It adds that "virginity" is not a medical term but rather "a social, cultural and religious construct - one that reflects gender discrimination against women and girls." Thus, several organizations including the United Nations and World Health Organization have called for a global ban of the practice of checking a woman's virginity.
CBS News cited a 2018 report by WHO noting that there is no clinical basis for virginity testing. An examination of a woman's hymen and it's being intact doesn't necessarily indicate whether a woman is a virgin or not or sexually active or not.
According to the rapper, he admitted exaggerating the truth during his interview which people took literally. He also claimed people assumed he was in the exam room with his daughter which wasn’t what he said.
Further, T.I. clarified that he wasn’t referring to exams done to his daughter in the present day and added that her mother was always present during these exams.
T.I. has since apologized to his daughter who felt violated after his interview came out.