Look guys... Based on what I've seen on the Internet, parenting isn't easy. You are taking a tiny human life, a sweet little baby, and raising them from the ground up. You need to teach them right from wrong, show them responsibility and respect, and make the impossible decision of choosing between essential oils and vaccinations. (Kidding...)
There are a million and ten opinions when parenting, and it is hard to get everyone to agree on anything. Some bottle feed, some breast feed. Some put their children in public school, some put them in private school. Some pay for their interests throughout high school, and some require them to get jobs as soon as they can. It is hard to categorize parenting decisions as wrong because there are just so many factors.
But, then something happened. T.I., a rapper best known for his song "Whatever You Like" said in a podcast interview that he, um, how do I put this lightly? GOES WITH HIS DAUGHTER TO THE GYNECOLOGIST ON A YEARLY BASIS SO THEY DOCTOR CAN CHECK IF HER HYMEN IS INTACT.
I am struggling to write content beyond that sentence. What can one even say? Vagina-havers, please take a moment to think about the last time you were at your annual at the OB/GYN. You are undressed from the waist down, feet in stirrups, staring up at ceiling tiles and making awkward small talk with the physician who is about to be wrist deep inside of you. Now, IMAGINE YOUR FATHER SITTING THERE IN THE ROOM WITH YOU, ASKING THE DOCTOR FOR A REPORT ON WHAT HE IS SEEING INSIDE OF YOU.
I am not even going to go into the fact that: Your hymen is not a magical virginity detector! Because T.I. knows this. In his interview (may I just remind you that this was an interview that he knew other people would hear?) he says, and I quote: "And so then they come and say, 'Well, I just want you to know that there are other ways besides sex that the hymen can be broken like bike riding, athletics, horseback ridign, and just other forms of athletic physical activity.' So I say, 'Look doc, she don't ride no horses, she don't ride no bikes, she don't play no sports. Just check the hymen please and give me back my results expeditiously.'"
So, let's just break this down. T.I. is accompanying his (now 18 year old) daughter to an annual OB/GYN appointment. Weird, but not unheard of. He is asking for a very specific test to be done, that he has been TOLD is not actually an indicator of her sexual activity, yet still asks for it. But the real kicker is when he says "my results". And here's where I hope his daughter gets a whole load of therapy.
T.I. (and at this point, it is important to me that you know his actual first name is Clifford) believes that the results his daughter receives on her very private appointments are his. He believes her body is his. And, he is teaching and has been teaching his daughter that sex is pretty much the worst thing she could ever do. This is going to leave her with a really, horrendously screwed up relationship with her sexuality in the future, more than likely.
It has been ingrained into "dad culture" to protect your "little girls". But their bodies are not yours to manage. Talking with your children about sex, the potential negative outcomes of having sex and the precautions necessary when engaging in sex are measures that are important, and potentially more likely to keep your child from making a rash decision when it comes to her sexuality.
Going to the OB/GYN with your daughter and demanding the status of her hymen on a yearly basis is not only about the creepiest thing you could ever do, but is certainly not helping to foster a healthy mindset when it comes to sex.
So, parents: I know it is tough to agree on everything. Should I co-sleep, or not co-sleep? Should I intervene when my child is being bullied, or use this opportunity to teach them how to stand up for themselves?
But I think, or rather, I sincerely and from the bottom of my heart hope, that we are in all in agreement that a yearly status report of your daughter's vagina is weird, creepy, archaic, and deeply nauseating. T.I., congratulations on your nomination for worst father of the year!