Virginity is a scam


This guy I never heard of before, T.I., is now famous in my head for one thing: being a revolting control freak.

Rapper and actor T.I. said in a podcast interview that aired Tuesday that he goes to the gynecologist every year with his daughter to “check her hymen” and make sure it’s “still intact.”

In an interview with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham on Ladies Like Us, T.I. talked about his parenting style, among other topics. When asked about whether he’s had the “sex talk” with his daughters, he pointed to his approach with his eldest daughter, 18-year-old Deyjah Harris, who’s in her first year of college.

“Not only have we had the conversation — we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen,” T.I. said. “Yes, I go with her.”

He then mentioned that after her 16th birthday party, he “put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.'”

“So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor comes and talk, and the doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism,” T.I. said. “He’s like, ‘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? Ain’t no problem.'”

T.I. also noted that he was informed the hymen can be broken in ways other than through sexual penetration. “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 riding, and just other forms of athletic physical activity,'” he said. “So I say, ‘Look, Doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously.'”

Then he added, “I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”

Why does he care? What would he do if the doctor came back and said her hymen was broken? A child is not your possession to be controlled — kids are independent human beings whose lives are a process of moving away from you. A 16 year old or an 18 year old may not be fully adult yet, but they are not your servants, either.

And virginity…does he have any sons? Would he be as controlling over them as he is with his daughters? The worth of his children does not lie in a wisp of a membrane, and he is fucked up in the head to think it is.

There is also something wrong with his story. I have responsibilities to maintain the privacy of young people, too: my students’ grades, for instance, are confidential, and it doesn’t matter if their parents are paying their tuition or not, I do not give them away. I’ve had parents show up in my office with their son, and tell me he has given me permission to tell them how he is doing, and I’ve said, “I’ll talk it over with him privately, and he can choose to reveal it to you.” That’s the only way I would handle it.

Doctors have even more serious privacy concerns. I find it hard to believe a responsible doctor would fold over an obnoxious parent, and more likely would just tell the ass what he wanted to hear. His daughter’s vagina is hers, not his.

I hope this is the last I ever hear of T.I.

Comments

  1. PaulBC says

    Even in the SF Bay Area, though it is quite rare, I have seen a few teens wearing a shirt that says “Virginity Rocks” that I guessed (and just confirmed) is part of some Christian abstinence movement. All that I get out of it is that now you’ve blatantly sexualized some kid who to me just looks like a kid. It’s no business of mine whether they’re sexually active or not, and a pretty weird thing to be blasting out to random Costco customers. It’s no business of mine if they want to wear the shirt either, but like WTF?

  2. PaulBC says

    And yes, T.I.’s behavior is creepy. As a parent of a child with a significant medical condition, it is sometimes a pain to deal with medical privacy laws that limit access to data after a certain age. But I can totally understand why this is necessary. The result of good parenting should be a responsible adult capable of making their own choices. You don’t get that by controlling every aspect of behavior.

  3. jamesorpin says

    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? Ain’t no problem.’

    I’m concerned the doctor doesn’t understand the principles of consent. Consent must be free of coercion, this is a textbook example of coercion.

  4. doubtthat says

    If you guys want a wild experience, go find one of the bigger twitter threads that’s discussing this and engage someone defending TI.
    If you’re bored with the usual political nightmare conversations we have, this will introduce you to a new brand of bizarre, perverse jackass.
    The sad thing is that I’ve seen TI speak before – I think once in response to Kanye West’s very public…issues…he seemed clear-thinging and insightful. And then this…which…motherfucker.

  5. tbp1 says

    Maybe he’s an exception, but I would lay you long odds he would be embarrassed if any son of his were a virgin much past age 16 or so. The double standard is still very much with us.

  6. says

    So he gets his daughter’s hymen checked every year but he communicates this to her by leaving a note on her bedroom door? Sounds like he cares more about her body than her feelings.

  7. PaulBC says

    tbp1@7

    Can’t speak for rapper TI, but I am mostly relieved my 16-year-old has no romantic interest as far as I know. Yeah, I sort of hope he doesn’t turn out as nerdy as I am, but there’s plenty of time, and nothing to prove.

  8. PaulBC says

    @8 And that’s the kind of pressure that could have the intended effect, or could lead to running away or suicide. It is completely nuts, like Tiger Mom tactics except stupider.

  9. says

    “more likely would just tell the ass what he wanted to hear.” Jesus PZ. I hope this guy never gets that idea in his head. At least for now he’s having someone else check.

  10. Artor says

    I do at least appreciate it when garbage people advertise their schittyness where everybody can see it. It’s important to know who is a piece of schit and who isn’t, and having them save you that critical time to sort them out is a public service.

  11. Larry says

    Not that I particularly care other than to see what level of hypocrite we’re dealing with here, I wish someone would ask him at what age did he first have sex and was he married at the time?

  12. stwriley says

    He has her virginity checked every year by a gynecologist? Why doesn’t he just go ahead and lock her in a chastity belt like a proper patriarchal asshole? It’s guys like this that make the rest of us wonder what the hell is wrong with our gender. You have to wonder how he treats other women if this is how he treats his daughters. I can’t imagine it’s in any way that respects their intelligence or personal autonomy.

  13. says

    That reminds me this video — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBQnQTkhsq4 Virginity “tests” are as unreliable as it gets.

    I had used a dildo long before I had vaginal sex with a guy for the first time. I was curious how different things would feel, so I experimented. I think it only makes sense for a young person to do so. (Of course, Christians would disagree about this: “No masturbation, period.”) By the time I finally found a guy I liked and wanted to have sex with, I didn’t bother to inform him that, according to some definitions, I might technically qualify as a virgin.

    This, by the way, is another stupid definitional challenge. Does masturbating with a dildo makes a person “no longer a virgin”? Does doing some things in bed with another person without having penis-in-vagina intercourse makes a person “no longer a virgin”? Personally, I don’t care to even try to answer. Yet some other (mostly religious) people obsess about it. The results are often stupid: “My God is worried about the integrity of my hymen, so let’s have anal sex instead.”

    The fact that the society obsesses over women’s virginity and considers it something that can be taken away from a woman was part of the reason why I preferred not to let any guy believe that he was the one to “take” it from me. I mean, the whole notion is just so offensive. Thus, the first time I had vaginal sex, I just skipped mentioning that I hadn’t had it before and instead allowed the guy to assume whatever he assumed.

  14. doubtthat says

    @Larry

    Evidently, he has a younger son who is sexually active and TI seems to approve of this.
    So, as bad as it gets.

  15. harryblack says

    TI is an absolute scumbag and the people who laughed along with him on that podcast are trash.
    No doctor should agree to such clearly meaningless consent on the part of their patient, and I assume this is an artifact of the reality of profit based practice of medicine where business decisions (the customer will just go elsewhere and my business will suffer) have undue pressure on ethical decisions.

    My only hope is that the doctor agreed to share the information but while in private with the patient, agreed not to do an exam and to report back to the father ‘all clear’. After all, they could honestly say “I found no evidence that your daughter has engaged in penetrative sex” and not be in breach of that absurd contract that an adult was coerced into agreeing to in front of their very eyes.

  16. offthewall says

    This is beyond creepy. It conveys the message to his daughter that her value (as a wife?) is decreased if she has vaginal intercourse without his consent. She is his property until he transfers title to another man. He must not care about oral or anal sex. I don’t believe he would treat sons in the same manner. What would he do? Sniff their underwear? Actually, I could see that happening.

  17. says

    This is how teenage pregnancies happen. A kid who cannot trust her parents to talk about sex with them. And kids will have sex for the most part, and if they#re ashamed to tell their parents or even afraid, you end up in a situation that happened at my school this week where the first thing I did after 5 weeks of sick leave was googling at what age you can get Plan B without parental notification.

  18. microraptor says

    In addition to every other concern that was raised, he’s also assuming that his daughter must be heterosexual and interested in sexual intercourse with a man in the first place.

  19. says

    Giliell @#20

    This is how teenage pregnancies happen. A kid who cannot trust her parents to talk about sex with them.

    I wouldn’t want to talk with my parents about sex in the first place. For example, back when I was a teen my mother told me to avoid pregnancy with the calendar method. She also told me that oral or anal sex is filthy. And she is convinced that homosexual sex is wrong. My mother is the last person from whom I wanted to learn about sex.

    You need good and evidence-based sex education at schools. Some kids are bound to end up with poorly educated parents (as I did).
    And teens must be provided access to contraceptives in such a way that they can get them without parents finding out.

  20. PaulBC says

    @23

    back when I was a teen my mother told me to avoid pregnancy with the calendar method.

    Yikes. Actually, on the subject of even less effective methods, I recall a friend from college who had a kid after marriage but definitely earlier than they really intended. And everything worked out fine and it’s none of my business, but I found her (completely unsolicited) explanation memorable: “You know how some couples have trouble conceiving and have to go for fertility treatments? We were thinking we were like that.” Uh, OK.

    @22 Sorry I still think Texas Instruments (which now sounds a little more risqué than before, like “Whip out your Texas Instrument.”) I just want to know what happened to Rapper HP and Rapper Casio. (There is a real nerd opportunity if ever there was one.)

  21. christoph says

    @Andreas Avester, # 15: The Biblical injunction against masturbation was basically just saying that sex is better than masturbation. It wasn’t prohibited unless God actually ordered you to impregnate your brother’s wife because your brother was firing blanks.

  22. Gregory Greenwood says

    I think we all need to sit T I down, and tell him that we are very concerned that he might not have a brain in that skull of his, this being one possible explanation for why he is such a hypocritical, control freak misogynistic jackass. On that basis, we must insist that he be trepanated by a doctor, his brain directly examined, and the results reported back to us expeditiously. Naturally, even if the results show no obvious abnormality, we cannot be certain that this situation will hold, so we must further insist that this procedure be repeated every year. When the doctor asks for T I’s consent, our representatives will of course be present and armed, and will simply state ‘T I, they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you would not want us to know? See, Doc? Ain’t no problem.’

    Given his attitude toward the bodily autonomy and human dignity of his own adult daughter, I assume he will have no objections to this entirely reasonable arrangement…

  23. says

    If the doc were worth his salt, he would insist on a private examination and just talk to the girl for a few minutes. Then report back to the asshole father that everything was a-ok.

  24. raven says

    What would he do if the doctor came back and said her hymen was broken?

    Yeah, that is my question.
    .1. Would he beat her up and put her in the ER?
    .2. Break a few bones and fracture her skull?
    .3. Kill her?

    .4. Excommunicate her from his creepy xian cult.
    That would be the best thing that could ever happen to her.
    She needs to get away from toxic pervert dad as soon as possible.

  25. Ridana says

    give me back my results

    “I’m sorry to inform you Mr. T.I., but it appears you have a very large blockage up your ass, and that surgery may be required to remove it. Oh, you meant your daughter’s results? I’ve already informed her of those.”

    BTW, he claims his son lost his virginity at 14, and he was fine with that.

    9) @PaulBC:

    I am mostly relieved my 16-year-old has no romantic interest as far as I know.

    My parents thought I was untouched by human hand, probably until the day they died. I’m just sayin’…

  26. blf says

    From last week, If the government tracks women’s periods, why not track male ejaculation, too?:

    Missouri is keeping binders full of women’s menstrual cycles

    Missouri, which has a population of over 6.1 million people, has only one abortion clinic. For rightwing zealots, however, that is one too many. An administrative hearing was held this week to decide whether the state can revoke the license for Planned Parenthood’s St Louis clinic; a ruling is expected in February. If the license is revoked Missouri will become the first state without a functioning abortion clinic since 1974.

    The Missouri hearing, which concluded on Thursday, has been a master class in gaslighting and misogyny. According to the Missouri department of health and senior services (DHSS), the reason they want to revoke the clinic’s license is because they really, really care about women’s health — it has absolutely nothing to do with controlling women’s bodies! The DHSS’s case rests on four instances of what it calls failed abortions — cases where complications arose and the patient had to return to the clinic for another procedure.

    As it turns out, the DHSS is so concerned about women’s health it has been keeping spreadsheets tracking the date of Planned Parenthood patients’ periods, in an attempt to figure out which of them had undergone failed abortions. Let me just repeat that: American government officials are tracking the menstrual cycles of thousands of women. But, you know, it’s for their own good so don’t worry about it.

    Amazingly, we learned about the period spreadsheets because Dr Randall Williams, the director of DHSS — clearly thinking there was a nothing creepy about the affair — openly testified about them on Tuesday. Meanwhile Planned Parenthood and the doctors at the clinic had no idea these spreadsheets existed and were being used in this manner. Outrage rightly ensued.

    The DHSS has responded to the controversy in the most predictable and Trumpian way possible; apparently the whole thing is fake news. The health department issued a statement on Wednesday blasting irresponsible reporting that has led to false claims that Dr Randall Williams tracks the menstrual cycles of women seeking abortions at Planned Parenthood.

    The real story, according to the statement, is that a concern came up that DHSS may not be receiving complication reports for all failed surgical abortions, as required by law. Without a directive from Dr Randall Williams, regulators devised a means to efficiently investigate that concern using legally-obtained information which was required by law and which Planned Parenthood routinely submits.

    Honestly, I have to give a round of applause to whoever drafted that statement: it contains so much spin that it makes you dizzy just reading it. However, despite their best attempts at obfuscation the DHSS also makes clear that, yes, these spreadsheets exist. But they’re completely legal so there’s nothing to see here.

    Missouri’s DHSS isn’t the only government department documenting women’s menstrual cycles, by the way. As Planned Parenthood noted in a statement, the spreadsheet controversy “shadows the Trump administration’s history of tracking the periods of refugee girls under the government’s care”. But again, the only reason the Trump administration has been doing this is because they want to protect these vulnerable women.

    You know what? Maybe I’m being too cynical here. Maybe all these period spreadsheets really are just meant to protect women and keep them healthy. In that case, I think it is only right we extend the same courtesy to men. A female director of a health agency ought to keep track of when men last ejaculated and ensure they are not wasting their sperm on non-babymaking endeavours. We can call it The Ejaculist. I’m sure the men of America will be touched at the government’s concern for their wellbeing.

    […]

  27. gijoel says

    Can we start a petition to send T.I to a proctologist, to get his anal hymen ‘checked’? Cause I would like to see him practice what he preaches.

    Who am I kidding, guys like that never practice what they preach.

  28. PaulBC says

    Ridana@31 Maybe, but he is home most of the time he’s not in school. Anyway, I will have to trust him to make reasonable choices. He’ll be in a college in a couple of years.

  29. vucodlak says

    This kind of shit that’s only possible because children are viewed as the property of their parents, especially in the US.

    I knew a few parents like this back when I was a teenager (my own parents essentially never talked about sex with me at all, which was the best possible scenario). The worst was the father of my best friend, who constantly badgered her with extremely intrusive questions about her sex life and calling her various misogynistic slurs as he did so. If her answers didn’t satisfy him, he’d hit her.

    He wasn’t obsessed with her “virginity,” though. For the worst possible reason.

  30. chrislawson says

    As Saad said, the doctor should have refused the examination. They should have counselled the father and the daughter about appropriate boundary-setting and offered to have a consult with the daughter by herself (or with a friend as a support person). And even in that second more private consult the purpose should have been education. There is absolutely no need for a pelvic exam unless the daughter gives a history that requires further evaluation. At 18 years of age, the only likely reason to investigate further is for an STI check, if and only if she has already had unprotected intimate contact with a partner.

    Even with patient consent, performing examinations that have no clinical indication can be unethical. Intimate examinations even more so. The only justifiable reason I can think to do this exam is out of concern the father might assault the daughter. And even then, I would think referral to an emergency DV service would be more appropriate than performing an unethical examination.

  31. chrislawson says

    I should also add, a simple asymptomatic STI check does not even require a pelvic exam. It can be run on a first-catch urine the patient collects themselves and a blood test.

  32. brain says

    16 year old or an 18 year old may not be fully adult yet

    In Italy at 18 you are legally an adult. In general, in places where life is harder people grow up faster, they become more independent and autonomous, and I think the rich, educated part of the world is becoming a bunch of kid-adults.
    That said, this man has serious mental problems: I wouldn’t let him anywhere near my children.

  33. DanDare says

    Has anyone anywhere found out the daughter’s take on this or apologised to her for how overwhelming the embarrassment of this being public must be?

  34. hemidactylus says

    Anyone remember the golden age of hiphop when we had Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, and Queen Latifah standing for women or Left Eye (RIP) from TLC getting personal and accidentally setting pro football player Andre Rison’s mansion ablaze for being a jackass? Them were the days.

    Who the hell is T.I.?

  35. says

    leerudolph @#36

    Speaking of Dr. Jen Gunter (as @2), here’s a blog post of hers from a couple of months back, headlined “Why does the Dept. of OB/GYN at the University of Utah offer a premarital exam for women?” (I bet you can all guess why!!!)

    Holy crap! That’s ridiculous.

    There are countless problems with the description of this premarital exam, so I’ll just mention one of the things that stood out for me, namely, quotes like these:

    “Getting ready for your wedding night can be a nerve-racking experience for anyone.”
    “It’s normal to have anxiety before your first time.”
    “Some women have deep anxiety about having sex for the first time. For these women, a dilator might help ease their stress.”
    “… take steps to reduce discomfort and frustration associated with the first few times…”
    “The idea of the dilator is that, if they open their vagina a little, gently at home, 5-10 minutes a day, then their first few intercourse attempts won’t be so difficult or painful.”

    This just isn’t normal. Ok, I get that some other people, unlike me, are shy and can be a bit nervous about having sex for the first time. Being nervous about new experiences makes sense. But what doesn’t make sense is experiencing “anxiety,” “frustration,” “discomfort,” or the whole thing being a “nerve-racking experience.”

    Firstly, this kind of language scares women and makes them expect something awful to happen during their first time.
    Secondly, it normalizes the idea that discomfort and pain is normal during first sex (when it clearly is not).

    It pains me to even try to imagine in what kind of shitty society people must be living in order to produce a text like this.

    In my school (in Europe) the first sex education lesson was when we were about 10 or so. It was all about anatomy and menstruation: “You are about to get periods soon, here’s how female bodies work, here’s what to expect, and here are some free samples of pads and tampons, and this is how you use them.” The next lesson was when we were about 16. It included some info about male and female anatomy, but most of the lesson was largely about contraceptives and STIs. We were informed about various contraceptive options and how each of them worked. There were no “how to put a condom on a cucumber demonstrations or anything,” it was purely theoretical and focused solely on how to avoid getting sick or pregnant. There was no information about how to have sex or how to make sure it is pleasant. Obviously, I had to look online for that info instead. In the online articles Google gave me I found some contradictory information (some of it outright false), so I pirated a book Sex for Dummies from a torrent site. I had quickly realized that porn sites are a bad source of information for how to have sex, so I pirated books instead.

    By the time I was 17, my mother found out that I had a boyfriend, so she started giving me “advice,” for example she told me to use the calendar method in order to avoid pregnancy. By then I already knew that she was bullshitting and that she had no clue what she was talking about. I didn’t want to start an argument with her, so I had to listen to all this crap from her, but I ended that conversation as quickly as possible. My mother was the last person I wanted to talk with about sex. By now (I’m 27), she is the only person with whom I absolutely refuse to talk about sex. She is also the only person who knows absolutely nothing about my sex life (I mean, right now I’m publicly talking about my sex life online, conveniently my mother doesn’t speak English, so I’m safe—she won’t find out anything from my comments in this website).

    By the way, I have never been married, but for me getting ready for first time sex wasn’t nerve-racking in any way whatsoever. I just called my boyfriend, invited him to visit, and bought some condoms. That’s all the “preparation” there was. Nothing nerve-wrecking there. I already knew what to expect, I had used dildos before, I even knew what I enjoy.

    By the time I went to a gynecologist for the first time, I was already regularly having sex. Then I had a different medical problem that warranted visiting a doctor.

    My conclusions: sex ed at schools is useful. I would have also appreciated some materials (books?) on how to have sex. Back when I was looking for this information online, I had a limited understanding of what to look for, thus some of the resources I stumbled upon were factually incorrect. I’m a person who likes to research things thoroughly, so I read several books, which allowed me to cross compare and filter out the bullshit. But I can imagine other teens finding some factually incorrect info online and having no clue that they are being mislead.

    Anyway, reading about how some Americans view first time sex just seems crazy for me. That’s not normal. The society shouldn’t allow that to happen.

  36. A Sloth named Sparkles says

    At the end of all of this, it’s really about controlling women’s agency & body.

    When my country’s conservatives do the same (not just the virginity part), they’re doing it to make sure that women reproduce more within the legal bounds of marriage. Specifically, to pass down & secure her husband’s bloodline along with his property down the generations. If the husband has an illegitimate child, that child is denied by religious authorities the right to his/her father’s inheritance.

    Which is icky. It treats not just women, but also children as mere machines and property rather than actual people.

  37. says

    @DanDare:

    The daughter hasn’t spoken publicly about this (which is unsurprising, she’s trying to navigate the social reality of high school with a famous parent, and now this) …

    …BUT a few people (who hopefully did it for the right reasons) looked at her twitter likes and found that she had liked at least 3 tweets where people were criticizing her dad’s actions with the doctor (not just her dad speaking publicly about this) and talking about how fucked up and hard it must be to be her right now.

    Given that, it’s reasonable to speculate that she herself doesn’t feel positively about being dragged to the ob/gyn for “virginity checks” and that she is, in fact, feeling stress and negative emotions about this.

    More than that we can’t reasonably say, unfortunately. I, too, consider this not only child abuse but medical malpractice. That doctor really should have reported TI to state child welfare authorities as they are required by law to do, and I hope the state medical board reviews the circumstances to determine what, if any, discipline is appropriate to impose on the physician.

    As for whether or not people have expressed sympathy and or support to the child… well, we know people have been doing that on twitter, but I don’t know about how the people in her life are acting. It would be nice if her besties and other people close to her are pushing back against her dad and supporting her, but we (or at least I) just don’t know anything about that.

  38. brain says

    @DanDare

    Why in the world should someone apologize to the daughter for something that is her father’s fault? I can express my sympathy to someone for something bad that happened to him/her, not apologize.

  39. blf says

    TI’s hymen checks are horrific. So is the entire concept of virginity:

    […]
    It’s a story as gross as it is outrageous: the rapper TI went on the Ladies Like Us podcast and told the hosts that he takes his daughter to an annual gynecological exam to confirm that she is still a virgin. I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact, he said.

    […]

    Yes, it’s outrage-bait. Yes, what TI said is deeply disturbing, suggests an abusive family situation, and deserves every bit of derision being heaped on it. But it could also force a more intelligent conversation on women, sex and virginity.

    First things first: virginity doesn’t exist and there’s no way to test it. Hymens can be broken by things other than penises. Some girls are born without hymens.[eh?†] Many women and girls who have never had penetrative vaginal sex nonetheless lack an intact hymen; some women who have had penetrative vaginal sex see their hymens remain intact.

    Of course, the entire concept of virginity is misogynistic: men aren’t valued for their sexual inexperience, there’s no male virginity test, and male sexual desire and experience are considered both normal and appropriate. It’s also just plain stupid, logically and conceptually. If a woman has sex exclusively with women and has 500 partners in her life, is she still a virgin? Why is a woman who has anal but not vaginal sex a technical virgin, but a man who has only had anal sex with men not one? A woman could ostensibly have a long and active career as a porn star and still be a virgin, so long as the vaginal sex was the one act she would not engage in. Is a woman still a virgin if she’s penetrated with a sex toy but not a human penis?

    There is no good reason for the concept of “virginity” to persist. Not one. Virginity, whatever it means, has no bearing on morality, goodness or innocence. […]

    […]

    Virginity tests are common in conservative religious communities around the world, and they are little more than medicalized rape. The virginity test itself is a form of abuse and control, a literal physical and sexual invasion of a woman or girl’s most intimate parts so that she may be surveilled by someone seeking to control her. Our understanding of abuse continues to expand — not so long ago, domestic violence was shrugged off as “private” — and increasingly experts point to various forms of reproductive control and coercion as abusive. When men tamper with their partners’ birth control to increase the chances of an unintended pregnancy, that’s a form of domestic abuse. When a man forces a woman to have an abortion she does not want, that’s a form of domestic abuse. And when a man monitors a woman or girl’s hymen that, too, is a form of domestic abuse.

    The same people who push for virginity until marriage also seem to be the most likely to argue that there’s no such thing as “marital rape”, because a woman agrees to sex with her husband by marrying him. Sex, in this view, isn’t something women control; it’s something men get from us.

    The fetishization of virginity stands in full opposition to the valuing of female sexual pleasure. There’s no justification for demanding virginity until marriage except ignorance and control […]

      † Possibly true, albeit the ghist I got from Dr Jen Gunter’s series of twitterings (see @2) suggests this is rare: “The hymen is more rigid at birth and provides more covering for the first 3 years to keep urine and feces out of the infant vagina, which lacks estrogen so is very sensitive to irritants.”

  40. says

    Andreas Avester

    I wouldn’t want to talk with my parents about sex in the first place. For example, back when I was a teen my mother told me to avoid pregnancy with the calendar method. She also told me that oral or anal sex is filthy. And she is convinced that homosexual sex is wrong. My mother is the last person from whom I wanted to learn about sex.

    I know that our current culture proclaims that talking about sex with your parents is HORRIBLE, but there’s nothing intrinsically horrible about it. I absolutely understand why you did not want to talk to your mother, but that’s because obviously your mother had some horrible ideas about sex and contraception.
    Should teens have good sex ed and access to contraception? Absolutely,and it should cover both masturbation and consent (the one time I taught 6th grade sex ed I made sure that it included LGBT, masturbation and consent).
    That still doesn’t meant that kids shouldn’t also have parents they can talk to. If they cannot talk to their parents about consensual sexual activity, what then about sexual assault?
    Btw, not trying to praise myself, but when my eldest had sex ed last year, some talks happened completely unprompted in completely normal situations like me making dinner and her asking what we use for contraception. There was no shame or embarrassment, because why should there?

  41. says

    Giliell @#48

    I know that our current culture proclaims that talking about sex with your parents is HORRIBLE, but there’s nothing intrinsically horrible about it.

    Sure, I agree that there’s nothing intrinsically horrible in talking with parents about sex. If some child is lucky to have a parent like you, great. And of course I’m happy that some kids can have normal conversations about sex with their parents.

    My point was that some parents are worse than others. Talking about sex with such parents can be horrible. Talking with my mother about sex was semi-horrible for me back when I was 17. I wasn’t uncomfortable or anything, it was simply hard for me to maintain a straight face while listening to her, it was also hard to prevent myself from facepalming.

    That still doesn’t meant that kids shouldn’t also have parents they can talk to.

    Sure, having parents you can talk to would be great. World peace would also be great.

    The society would certainly benefit from educating parents about how to talk with their children about sex. I’m not opposing that in any way.

    It’s just that I’m pessimistic about the success rate. Regardless of how we try to help parents improve, a significant portion of children are bound to get stuck with problematic parents (like I did). This is why the state must ensure that all children get sex education at school. The sate must also provide teens with easily accessible contraceptives without parental notification. Never mind that a 16 years old girl who wants an abortion should be able to get it even if her parents oppose it.

  42. blf says

    In Ozland, Sydney obstetrician said women should sign a consent form for vaginal births (Grauniad edits in {curly braces}):

    Health professionals say Sydney University professor Hans Peter Dietz has repeatedly insulted midwives and other women

    A high-profile obstetrician and gynaecologist who is also a professor with the University of Sydney made remarks to peers attending a medico-legal conference in Melbourne that were so sexist and condescending that some attendees were in tears and conference organisers vowed never to invite him back.

    Prof Hans Peter Dietz, an internationally renowned pelvic floor expert, has been the subject of numerous complaints to his employers, the Nepean hospital and the University of Sydney.

    Numerous women, including midwives and professors, have separately expressed serious concerns about Dietz’s behaviour.

    Three health professionals who spoke to Guardian Australia said Dietz told attendees at medical conferences that women should be forced to sign a consent form if they wanted to give birth vaginally, to confirm that they were aware of the risk that their bodies might be left with tears and other complications if they did not get a caesarean instead.

    […]

    While on a panel, [the director of midwifery studies at the University of Technology Sydney, Dr Christine ] Catling spoke of the importance of not scaring women if there were concerns about vaginal delivery and to instead discuss different options and risks. Dietz stood up and interrupted her. “He declared that it was his job to scare the bejesus out of women,” Catling said.

    She said Dietz then said that the practice where he previously worked in New Zealand had changed policies since he left, which meant around 50% of women were now seen by midwives rather than obstetricians, a change he said would affect the quality of documentation.

    “I grabbed the microphone and said that there was no reason that the documentation would be affected as the midwives are competent at their jobs,” Catling said. “It was then that he stated that midwives are incompetent.”

    […]

    Prof Hannah Dahlen, who in June was made a member of the Order of Australia for her research in midwifery, said Dietz refused to use her “professor” title and had criticised her work publicly at conferences.

    [… other incidences involving this quack…]

    SBS news first reported that Dietz sent an email to committee members of the NSW medical union stating the workforce was increasingly vulnerable because it’s increasingly female and not exactly prepared for adversity because school and uni are ‘safe spaces’ {sic}.

    Suicides are one result,>q> he wrote. Inability to cope with everyday nastiness is another.

    Further reports have since emerged.

    […]

    When Dietz showed attendees a graph detailing tear rates following vaginal birth, [Midwife Oceane] Campbell asked a question, which she said prompted Dietz to begin shouting at her.

    “I said my understanding is the weight of the pregnancy on the pelvic floor increases the risk of incontinence after a certain number of pregnancies, {and} this is the case whether you have a caesarean or vaginal birth,” Campbell said.

    “He snapped at me. He looked angry … he {was} nearly frothing at the mouth. He was red-faced and was so hostile and he said you don’t know what you’re talking about. He called my intelligence and profession as a midwife into question. In the end the host had to ask him to stop.”

    […]

  43. lumipuna says

    Andreas wrote:

    I had used a dildo long before I had vaginal sex with a guy for the first time. I was curious how different things would feel, so I experimented. I think it only makes sense for a young person to do so.

    This approach makes perfect sense for me personally. Then again, I’m a cis man and grew up in a relatively sex-positive environment. I wonder if it’s typically much different for AFAB people who grow up in very conservative cultures without any sex education. Like, if you’re taught that the inside of your “down there” is dirty and not any of your business?

    (Of course, Christians would disagree about this: “No masturbation, period.”)

    I’ve also heard they discourage the use of tampons in very conservative cultures, probably especially for “virgin” girls. I don’t actually know if trying out a tampon or inserting a finger would typically break your hymen, but if it does, then it seems extra stupid to expect that someone should try to preserve their hymen into early adulthood.

    By the time I finally found a guy I liked and wanted to have sex with, I didn’t bother to inform him that, according to some definitions, I might technically qualify as a virgin.

    I sometimes wonder that, it must be a bit awkward if you (speaking generally of people with vaginas) have practiced insertion beforehand but still feel nervous and want him to know and appreciate that it’s your first time. This shouldn’t be an issue, and everyone should be educated enough to understand that there will be likely no bleeding.

  44. says

    lumipuna@#51

    I wonder if it’s typically much different for AFAB people who grow up in very conservative cultures without any sex education. Like, if you’re taught that the inside of your “down there” is dirty and not any of your business?

    I was never taught such crap, but then again, I didn’t grow up in a conservative culture.

    That being said, I have heard about women being taught not to touch themselves down there. Masturbation being called immoral and wrong and all that. Hell, according to some people a woman shouldn’t even touch her vagina while inserting a tampon. I have heard women saying that applicator-less tampons that are inserted with ones fingers are somehow gross.

    I’ve also heard they discourage the use of tampons in very conservative cultures, probably especially for “virgin” girls.

    My mother told me that a woman cannot use tampons before having had sex. She was clueless. Of course you can use them, in general there should be no problems. There does exist some medical conditions that cause problems with tampon usage, but those are rare.

    I don’t actually know if trying out a tampon or inserting a finger would typically break your hymen

    No, it doesn’t. Firstly, the whole “breaking the hymen” nonsense is a myth. Secondly, fingers or a tampon are much narrower than the average male penis anyway.

    I sometimes wonder that, it must be a bit awkward if you (speaking generally of people with vaginas) have practiced insertion beforehand but still feel nervous and want him to know and appreciate that it’s your first time. This shouldn’t be an issue, and everyone should be educated enough to understand that there will be likely no bleeding.

    A partner who isn’t an asshole should believe you when you say that you haven’t had sex before without wanting to somehow “test” whether you are telling the truth. More importantly, whether you have or haven’t had sex before shouldn’t even matter in the first place, the way how our culture values female virginity is offensive.

  45. lumipuna says

    No, it doesn’t. Firstly, the whole “breaking the hymen” nonsense is a myth. Secondly, fingers or a tampon are much narrower than the average male penis anyway.

    Makes sense. Again, since people’s anatomy varies, I was thinking in terms of “most cases”.

    A partner who isn’t an asshole should believe you when you say that you haven’t had sex before without wanting to somehow “test” whether you are telling the truth. More importantly, whether you have or haven’t had sex before shouldn’t even matter in the first place, the way how our culture values female virginity is offensive.

    Indeed. I was thinking more like, “what if you’re just feeling vaguely nervous and he thinks it’s because you’re expecting some dramatic pain or bleeding”. I’m probably projecting my own irrational insecurity to hypothetical women.

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