Earlier this month, the rapper made headlines when he revealed on the Ladies Like Us podcast that he accompanies his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris, to the gynecologist every year to check if her hymen is intact to make sure she hasn't had sex.
Following the justified backlash he received after the podcast aired, T.I. acknowledged his controversial remarks in a new episode of Red Table Talk. He and his wife appeared on the show to discuss the nature of his comments with Jada and her mom, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and “clear up any misconceptions” that have arisen about his parenting.
"I think all of this surrounds a conversation that I was having in a very joking manner when asked ‘How do I deal with parenting in this day and age?’” the rapper said. “From a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate. And I think that a lot people took it extremely literal.” Speaking to Jada, T.I. admitted to being ignorant about the topic’s “sensitivity” at the time, but said there’s been a "false narrative" that has been "sensationalized” and, as a result, his intentions have “been terribly misconstrued and misconceived."
"Let me go set this record straight: I never said I was in any exam room — that is an assumption; that is a falsity. I never said that it was being done present day, as an 18-year-old, and I never said that her mother wasn't present. Her mom was present every time,” he explained.
T.I. then said Deyjah “at the time” had “no objection” to his accompanying her to her gynecologist appointments, but he admitted that she “had a problem” when he decided to speak on it publicly. “I understand it and I am incredibly apologetic to her,” the rapper emphasized. “Not to any of these other strangers or any of these weirdos who toss lies around for free.”
Following the backlash, Deyjah deactivated all her social media and has yet to address the situation herself. “She understands my intentions and she knows who I am and who I’ve always been,” T.I. continued.
Over the course of the talk, however, Jada questioned him about his understanding of why his comments were particularly harmful to young women. When T.I. defended his actions in the name of protecting Deyjah, Jada said, "I don't think anyone has an issue with you protecting your daughter... it's the hymen part." The table went on to have a discussion about parental roles, with Jada adding, "When I think about the girls I've raised, I was never really trying to protect their virginity versus making sure they had a level of understanding and maturity before going into certain things. But it was never about the virginity."
She also spent time explaining to T.I. what a "patriarchal structure" is, and when T.I. asked if "females actually tried to explain [this] to men," Jada answered, "Absolutely, that's why you have feminists. That's why you have womanists." When T.I. expressed concern that feminists want to silence men, Jada said, "The feminine journey is seen through the eyes of men who know nothing about what we're going through." This seemed to click with T.I., who responded, "Well, I think [men] should stay out of it."
Jada's response? "Boom. That's the point."
While T.I. now seems to understand generally why talking about his daughter's sexual health publicly was wrong, hopefully he also gets that monitoring whether his daughter is sexually active is also a violation of her privacy. As Teen Vogue's Brittney Mcnamara pointed out in her op-ed about the situation, "T.I. might better serve himself and his children by being more educated on sexual health, and empowering his children to make safe, healthy decisions that are right for them."
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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: T.I. Taking His Daughter for Hymen Checks Isn't Just Gross — It's a Violation of Her Rights
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue