New York state lawmakers are seeking to ban “virginity tests” after rapper T.I. said he accompanies his daughter Deyjah Harris to the gynecologist to “check her hymen.”
“We have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen,” the Atlanta rapper said in early November during an appearance on the podcast “Ladies Like Us,” according to CBS News.
He added, “Yes, I go with her.”
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New York Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, who sponsored the justification section of the bill, called his comments “misogynistic” and “appalling,” CBS News reports.
“If a celebrity can impose his power to ensure his 18-year-old daughter gets checked, imagine what can be done in households across New York state?” Solages said, CBS News reports.
According to the identical bills filed in the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly, licensed medical practitioners would be banned “from performing or supervising virginity examinations and subjects any medical practitioner who does perform or supervise such performance to professional misconduct penalties as well as possible criminal charges,” CBS News reports.
“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-traumatization and re-victimization,” according to the justification section of the bill, CBS News reports.
RELATED: T.I. On Deyjah’s Virginity Controversy: ‘I’m Willing To Go Above And Beyond’ To Protect Black Women
After the backlash T.I. received from his comments, he explained on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk that he “began to embellish and exaggerate.”
“I think that a lot of people kind of took it extremely literal,” he said.
“I never said I was in any exam room. That is an assumption — that is a falsity,” T.I. continued. “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. Yeah, her mom was present every time.”
CBS News reports the bills’ justification also noted, “The term ‘virginity’ is not a medical or scientific term. Rather, the concept of ‘virginity’ is a social, cultural and religious construct – one that reflects gender discrimination against women and girls. As a result, the United Nations, along with the World Health Organization, U.N. Women and U.N. Human Rights, called for a global ban on the practice.”
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