Bleats

How Much Power Should Your Parents Really Have Over Your Sexual Health?

Rapper T.I says he has his daughter's hymen checked yearly.

2019 has been a big year for women’s rights. The #MeToo movement gave a voice to victims of sexual assault, women were championed in business, entertainment and sport, and abortion was legalised in a handful of countries – including NSW 

But just when you thought women had started to regain control over their own bodies, rapper T.I makes a bunch of comments about his daughter’s sexual health that make it feel like we’ve taken one hundred steps backwards.

In a recent interview with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham on Ladies Like Us, T.I was asked if he’s had the “sex talk” with his daughters.

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

T.I, whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr, went on to explain that after his daughter’s 16th birthday, he “put a sticky note on the door,” which read: “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,” he 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.” 

Later, T.I said the doctors informed him of the many ways a hymen can be broken other than through sexual penetration. “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.”

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

T.I’s comments were quick to cop major backlash online, with Twitter users claiming his fixation on maintaining his daughters virginity is “outdated,” “weird and toxic.”

It also begs the question: how much control should parents have over their 18-year-old child’s sexual health – or more specifically, the state of their hymen.

In response to T.I’s comments, OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Gunter said, “the hymen is no virginity indicator, 50% of sexually active teens do not have a disrupted hymen.”

“The hymen means nothing physically and hymen exams are medically not a thing and are unnecessary,” she said. “And support a disgusting patriarchal trope.”

Dr. Jennifer Gunter isn’t the only one who views T.I’s control over his daughter’s sexual health as a violation. The World Health Organisation says “‘virginity testing’ has no scientific or clinical basis.”

“There is no examination that can prove a girl or woman has had sex – and the appearance of a girl’s or woman’s hymen cannot prove whether they have had sexual intercourse, or are sexually active or not.”

A 2017 study reviewing virginity testing published in the Reproductive Health Journal found that not only does hymen examination “not accurately or reliably predict virginity status,” but it “could cause physical, psychological, and social harms to the examinee.”

It appears that T.I’s efforts have already had a negative impact, with his daughter Deyjah retweeting a series of posts denouncing her father’s behaviour. 

It’s time to do away with the outdated views and the persistent desire to control women and their bodies. It also sounds like T.I could do with a healthy reality check when it comes to his daughter’s sexual health and independence.

Kristen Stewart, It's Still An "Affair" Even If You Didn't Bang Rupert Sanders

Remember K-Stew's "momentary indiscretion" of 2012?

If you’re a proud Twihard, you’d remember Edward and Bella’s soul-destroying split of 2012, and the absolute media sh*tstorm that followed. 

ICYMI, or you weren’t as obsessed with Twilight as the rest of the world, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s relationship came to an end when K-Stew was photographed having an affair with her married Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders.

Fast-forward to 2019, and Stewart doesn’t reckon it was that big of a deal. During a recent interview with Howard Stern, Stewart denied it was an “affair” because she “didn’t f*ck” Sanders.

When Stern asked Stewart why she didn’t “shout that from the mountaintops” at the time, Stewart said “well, who’s going to believe me?”

“It doesn’t even matter. It looked like…You know, you make out with a dude in public, it definitely looks like you did,” Stewart said. 

After the photographs of Stewart and Sanders surfaced, the actress issued an apology, telling the media: “This momentary indiscretion has jeopardised the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry.”

Kristen Stewart and director Rupert Sanders. Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

The “momentary indiscretion” not only cost K-Stew her relationship with Pattinson, but it also lost her role in the sequel of Snow White and the Huntsman. 

Later, Stewart said the “slut-shaming that went down was so absurd. And they should’ve put me in that movie! It would’ve been better. Not to be a d*ck, but…”

Slut-shaming is never okay, but there’s no denying that Stewart’s relationship with Sanders was, most definitely, an affair. While K-Stew claimed they didn’t sleep together, she was photographed kissing and sharing a romantic connection with Sanders – a man who was married at the time. 

During her interview with Stern, Stewart said she was “really young. I didn’t really know how to deal with that. I made some mistakes.” Here’s hoping it’s another lesson learned.

Tyra Banks And Naomi Campbell's Open Hatred Of Each Other Is Peak Professionalism

This takes passive aggressive to the next level.

If you ever wonder how you manage to survive the passive aggressive relationship you have with your co-workers, housemates or family members – cop a load of this iconic ‘90s photoshoot featuring ultimate frenemies, Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell.

Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell.
Credit: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for Full Picture

In 1992, Banks and Campbell appeared alongside fellow model Beverly Peele in a Vogue photoshoot styled by Grace Coddington and shot by Patrick Demarchelier. In the shoot, the trio appear on a yacht wearing matching black bikinis, dresses and straw hats – and let’s be honest, it looked like a cracking arvo out on the water.

However, the reality is – Banks and Campbell were feuding hard during the shoot. At that point, behind-the-scenes beef between the supermodels had reached sizzling temperatures, as discussed in Banks’ 2005 interview with the rival model. 

During the interview, Banks brought up the yacht photoshoot and how Naomi tried to help her when she was feeling seasick. “Naomi you said, ‘I have you ask you something…Do they try to make you look like me?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know about so much now, but in LA they really did.’”

“Naomi, you got up, you pushed me away and you said ‘I thought so,’ and you turned,” Banks told Campbell. 

Later during the interview, Banks pulled up another photoshoot of the pair lounging on armchairs in their swimsuits. “Do you remember that picture?” Banks asks Campbell. “There was no communication.”

“I went from calling my mum, and saying ‘this is so amazing,’ to calling her and saying, ‘I don’t know what happened, just did a photoshoot, she didn’t speak to me.”

While Campbell remains blasé about their decades-long feud, Banks has brought it up many times. Earlier this year, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Banks said “People didn’t know I was going home crying my eyes out because a woman that I was looking up to seemed like she just didn’t want me to be there, and was doing everything in her power to make me go away.”

You’ve got to give it to Banks and Campbell. Behind closed doors, their relationship was far from sunshine and rainbows, but you’d never know looking at these iconic photoshoots. It’s a testament to their level of professionalism, even in the most passive aggressive of times. 

Campbell did eventually address the feud in a 2016 interview with Andy Cohen. “It does irk me that two women of colour have to be pitted against each other,” she said. “You can have more than one woman of colour in a fashion show. Unfortunately, back then, you could only have one so the other felt…put out.”

Sadly, it sounds like Banks and Campbell were merely grappling with the inequalities of the fashion industry during the ‘90s. Kudos to these fierce women for surviving the storm and coming out as graceful as ever.

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