Like rapper T.I. I have an 18-year-old daughter and, like T.I.’s daughter, she also went to the gynecologist this year.

And that’s about where the similarities end.

My daughter went because she suffers from menorrhagia (look that one up T.I.) and needed a medication change.

She went in, had her exam, asked good questions and made decisions with her Dr. as how she wished to proceed next all on her own. Why? Because she is 18 and an adult. My job is to raise her to have agency over her own body, to advocate for herself, to ask questions and to feel comfortable with medical professionals. If she doesn’t feel comfortable she should feel free to leave and find another professional.

So when I read the articles about T.I. forcing his teenage daughter to go to the gynecologist for a yearly hymen check, I was as horrified as everyone else.

Never mind that you can rupture your hymen and it has nothing to do with sex. Or that you can be having sex and still have an intact hymen. Or the fact that this is medieval and archaic and controlling and perverted and a million other things.

I reflected back on my own daughters recent appointment and tried to picture her father there, demanding to be given access to her healthcare information and telling the Dr. what tests he wants performed and then demanding “his results” like she isn’t even there, isn’t even a person and I wondered one thing…..


Does this intelligent, beautiful young girl have no one in her life that is willing to stand up for her? No one who is willing to call out her abuser and put a stop to this? No one that loves her enough to consider her mental health and safety over that of whatever her crazy, abusive father wants done to her body? And what the hell else is going on in a household where everyone is seemingly content to let this trauma and humiliation of a young girl go on for years unchecked?

If this girl manages to grow up and have a healthy relationship with her body and a healthy attitude towards her sex life, it will be in spite of her father, not because of him.

I guess in the end my questions are the same as pretty much everyone else’s…



Melissa Coble is a mom living in Phoenix, Arizona just trying to survive the teenage years with a lot of laughs, an occasional rant, and copious amounts of wine. You can find her counting the days until her nest is empty on her blog An Unfit Parent and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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