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TI says he has his daughter's virginity checked by a doctor—and there is so much wrong with this

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[Editor's note: This article contains a reported case of virginity testing, which may be upsetting for some to read.]

When our children are young, parents stay in the exam room during medical appointments because we need to keep them safe and having access to all their medical information allows that. But when our children are grown, their medical information is their own.

That's why a celebrity news story this week has us outraged.

In an interview for podcast Ladies Like Us with Nazanin and Nadia, T.I. shared this week that he accompanies his 18-year-old daughter to the gynecologist every year to ensure that her hymen is intact. It appears that the podcast episode has been taken down, but according to BuzzFeed News T.I. said that his daughter's doctor told him that under HIPAA regulations, he wasn't allowed to disclose this type of information.

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"He's like, 'You know, sir, I have to, in order to share information'— I'm like, '...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," he stated.

The doctor informed him that many activities besides sex, such as bike riding and horseback riding, can cause the hymen not to be intact. T.I. replied that his daughter didn't do those activities, and asked the doctor to "Just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously."

The internet is outraged, and rightfully so.

There are so many wrongs in this story, and it is a strong reminder that there is still so much work to be done toward gender equality.

1. Virginity testing is inhumane and traumatic

Virginity testing is the physical assessment of pelvic anatomy to assess whether the patient has had penetrative intercourse. The hymen, a thin piece of tissue near the opening of the vagina, is inspected. The theory was (was, not is—see item two) that if the tissue was "broken" or nonintact, the person had had intercourse.

But virginity testing is a violation of human rights. In 2018, the World Health Organization released a statement in which they decry the practice of virginity testing. They state that it is "detrimental to women's and girls' physical, psychological and social well-being… The examination can be painful, humiliating and traumatic."

Pelvic exams are difficult enough as it is. The assessment of one's hymen, especially if done under emotional duress, can be indescribably traumatic physically and emotionally.

2. Virginity testing is not accurate

The presence or lack of a hymen does not indicate whether or not someone has had sex. Not only can many activities cause a hymen to be non-intact, intercourse does not always result in a non-intact hymen. In addition to causing trauma, this examination is useless.

3. Virginity testing is misogynistic and heteronormative

When trying to determine if something is misogynistic, we can apply a little test: What would happen if we tried this with men?

Let's try it here:

What about male virginity testing? "Oh, well, we couldn't test male genitalia because it wouldn't reveal anything that would accurately allow us to determine if they were a virgin."

Right. Return to item number two above—neither does female virginity testing.

The WHO states, "'Virginity testing' reinforces stereotyped notions of female sexuality and gender inequality."

Also, sex is so much more than penetration, and the only person who can state whether or not they consider themselves to be a virgin is that person. What if a woman has sex with a woman? Penile penetration doesn't happen, but the people involved may or may not consider themselves virgins.

To use penetration to describe sex discounts the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. It's inaccurate, outdated and discriminatory. Oh, and also? It is none of our business.

Assessing someone's virginity has nothing to do with the patient, and everything to do with the person wanting the information. It is not our children's responsibility to carry the burden of our lack of comfort around human sexuality.

4. Despite the consent form that was signed, the gynecologist is in the wrong.

Dear doctor, remember that whole "do no harm" oath you agreed to? Consider yourself in violation. Virginity testing is a traumatic and useless procedure, and conducting it harms the patient. The WHO states, "Given that these procedures are unnecessary and potentially harmful, it is unethical for doctors or other health providers to undertake them. Such procedures must never be carried out."

A medical professional should not perform unnecessary and dangerous surgery.

A medical professional should not perform unnecessary and dangerous testing.

This is no different.

5. Was the consent form appropriate?

The Joint Commission is the leading hospital accreditation organization in the United States, charged with ensuring patients receive safe, evidence-based, quality care. Here's what they have to say about the appropriate way to obtain informed consent:

"Agreement or permission accompanied by full notice about the care, treatment, or service that is the subject of the consent. A patient must be apprised of the nature, risks, and alternatives of a medical procedure or treatment before the physician or other health care professional begins any such course. After receiving this information, the patient then either consents to or refuses such a procedure or treatment."

Translation: The doctor would have had to say, "Here is how this exam will go; here are the risks; here are the other options you have."

I was not in the room, so maybe this happened. I can tell you that in my professional opinion, the fact that her father was allegedly sitting next to her telling her to sign it, makes the consent seem invalid.

6. This was not a cool dad move, T.I.

The teenage years are arguably the most trying phase of life to get through. Teenagers are bombarded by massive changes in their bodies, minds and hormones, social pressures and relentless media messaging. They need an adult they can turn to to help them sort it all out, even when—especially when—it's messy, scary and confusing.

T.I.'s desire to micromanage his daughter's sexuality could have lasting effects on how she connects with her own body and how she connects with her father. What happens if she is presented with a scenario that she needs guidance with? Will she feel comfortable asking her dad for advice after this?

Look, the idea of my kids having sex one day certainly throws me. This morning my kindergartner was asking me what country is closest to the North Pole and whether Santa makes or buys batteries for all the toys. There is a big part of me that wants to preserve this childlike innocence forever.

But I can't.

They are, God willing, going to grow up. And I will have two choices.

I can instill fear and distrust, or I can show them that I am there for them—even when it makes me uncomfortable.

Let's agree to do a better job showing our children that we are with them as they navigate the perils of growing up.

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As a mid-Spring holiday, we never knew exactly what to expect from the weather on Easter when I was growing up in Michigan: Would we get to wear our new Sunday dresses without coats? Or would we be hunting for eggs while wearing snowsuits?

Although what the temperature had in store was really anyone's guess, there were a few special traditions my sister and I could always depend on—and it won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that my favorite memories revolved around food. After all, experts say memories are strongest when they tie senses together, which certainly seems to be true when it comes to holiday meals that involve the sounds of laughter and the taste of amazing food.

Now that I'm a parent, I'm experiencing Easter anew as my children discover the small delights of chocolate, pre-church brunch and a multi-generational dinner. While I still look forward to the treats and feasting, I'm realizing now that the sweetest thing of all is how these traditions bring our family together around one table.

For us, the build-up to Easter eats is an extended event. Last year's prep work began weeks in advance when my 3-year-old and I sat down to plan the brunch menu, which involved the interesting suggestion of "green eggs and ham." When the big morning rolled around, his eyes grew to the size of Easter eggs out of pure joy when the dish was placed on the table.

This year, rather than letting the day come and go in a flash, we are creating traditions that span weeks and allow even the littlest members of the family to feel involved.

Still, as much as I love enlisting my children's help, I also relish the opportunity to create some magic of my own with their Easter baskets—even if the Easter Bunny gets the credit. This year, I'm excited to really personalize the baskets by getting an "adoptable" plush unicorn for my daughter and the Kinder Chocolate Mini Eggs that my son hasn't stopped talking about since seeing at the store. (You can bet this mama is stocking up on some for herself, too.)

At the same time, Easter as a parent has opened my eyes to how much effort can be required...

There is the selection of the right Easter outfits for picture-perfect moments.

There is the styling of custom Easter baskets.

There is the filling of plastic eggs and strategic placement of them throughout the yard.

But when the cameras are put away and we all join together around the table for the family dinner at the end of the day, I can finally take a deep breath and really enjoy—especially with the knowledge that doing the dishes is my husband's job.

This article was sponsored by Kinder. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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Last month Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom announced some big news: The engaged pair are expecting a baby!

Perry announced her pregnancy when the music video for her single, "Never Worn White" showed her rocking a bump and this weekend she announced she's expecting a girl...by posting a photo of Bloom's face covered in pink frosting.

She geotagged the photo "Girls Run the World" and captioned it "💕 It's a girl 💕."

Clearly, this man is thrilled about becoming a #girldad.

Perry is due in the summer, as she previously noted on Instagram.

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"Let's just say it's gonna be a jam packed summer..." she captioned her original pregnancy announcement.

"OMG, so glad I don't have to suck it in anymore," Perry tweeted after the big news went public.

"I am excited. We're excited and happy and it's probably the longest secret I've ever had to keep," Perry explained in a live stream with fans.

Of course not long after Perry announced her pregnancy the world changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the pandemic, Perry and Bloom have postponed their wedding, according to People and are pretty much just laying low at home trying to enjoy Perry's pregnancy as much as possible during this difficult time.

Perry recently told Stellar Magazine that the wedding is about more than throwing a big bash, so while it would be totally normal to be disappointed by having to postpone it, the mom-to-be seems to be in a good place regarding her nuptials.

She told Stellar: "It's not about the party. It's about the coming together of people who will hold us accountable when things get really hard. Those are just the facts when you're with someone who challenges you to be your best self."

The little girl Bloom and Perry are expecting will have a lot of people to love on her. While this is the first child for Perry, Bloom is already a dad to a 9-year-old boy who will soon be a big brother.

Congratulations to Perry + Bloom!

News

Pink opened up about her family's fight against coronavirus late Friday, taking to Instagram to make a big announcement.

"Two weeks ago my three-year old son, Jameson, and I are were showing symptoms of COVID-19," Pink revealed, noting that she tested positive and has since recovered.

She continued: "My family was already sheltering at home and we continued to do so for the last two weeks following the instruction of our doctor. Just a few days ago we were re-tested and are now thankfully negative. It is an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible. This illness is serious and real."

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After dealing with the virus on a personal level and recognizing her privilege in being able to access testing, Pink decided to donate $1 million to fight coronavirus and hopefully protect others.

"In an effort to support the healthcare professionals who are battling on the frontlines every day, I am donating $500,000 to the Temple University Hospital Emergency Fund in Philadelphia in honor of my mother, Judy Moore, who worked there for 18 years in the Cardiomyopathy and Heart Transplant Center. Additionally, I am donating $500,000 to the City of Los Angeles Mayor's Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund," she announced via Instagram.

Pink ended her update by thanking the brave healthcare workers on the front lines and reminding the rest of us to stay home.

For more information on COVID-19 and how it is impacting families, visit mother.ly/coronavirus.

News

On Friday President Trump announced that the Centers for Disease Control is now advising people to wear a cloth mask if they need to go out in public. It's not a rule, he says, but a recommendation.

"It's really going to be a voluntary thing," President Trump told reporters. "I'm not choosing to do it."

First Lady Melania Trump is urging others to do it, tweeting, "As the weekend approaches I ask that everyone take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously. #COVID19 is a virus that can spread to anyone—we can stop this together."

What the CDC says about cloth face masks:

The CDC says it's recommending cloth face masks because recent studies show that people can have COVID-19 while asymptomatic, meaning they feel fine and because they don't know they are sick they might still be going about their daily routine in their community.

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Basically, masks don't protect the wearer as much as they protect people from the wearer (who might not know they are sick) by blocking respiratory droplets

"So it's not going to protect you, but it is going to protect your neighbor," Dr. Daniel Griffin at Columbia University, an expert on infectious diseases, tells NPR.

CDC experts are "advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure."

They say if you're going somewhere where it's hard to maintain the proper social distance of six feet, like a grocery store or a pharmacy, then it's a good idea to wear a simple cloth mask.

"The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance," the CDC states.

"You may need to improvise a cloth face covering using a scarf or bandana," the agency notes on its website.

A DIY cloth mask is an extra layer of protection:

The CDC still says that staying home and practicing good hand hygiene is the best protection against COVID-19, but a cloth mask would be an extra layer of protection if you must go out to get food or unavoidable medical care.

According to Dr. Scott Segal, chair of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, certain types of fabric are better than others when it comes to making a mask. While he CDC says improvised bandanas or scarfs are better than nothing, Segal says DIY mask makers should aim a little higher for the masks to be effective.

"You have to use relatively high-quality cloth," Dr.Segal, who is researching this topic, tells NBC News.

According to Segal you don't want to use a knit fabric (like an old T-shirt) but rather a woven fabric. He suggests a double layer of heavyweight cotton with a thread count of at least 180 (like quilters cotton). If you don't have a cotton with that high of a thread count, line it with flannel.

For more tips on how to sew a fabric face mask, check out these instructions from Kaiser Permanente.

No-sew methods:

If you're not a sewer you can still fashion a mask, and there are plenty of no-sew tutorials online showing you how. Use heavyweight woven fabric like Segal suggests and make one of these without a sewing machine.

How To Make a Pleated Face Mask // Washable, Reusable, No-Sewing Required youtu.be

Should kids wear masks? Talk to your doctor.

The CDC is not recommending masks if you're just going for a walk around the block or playing in the backyard (which is the extent of most kids' outings these days). The masks are more for grocery runs, which many parents are opting to do alone these days.

But solo parents and those with partners who are in the military know that leaving the kids behind isn't always an option if you're the only adult in the home. If that's your circumstance, choose delivery options when possible to avoid taking your children to public places like grocery stores and pharmacies (the kinds of places the CDC recommends masks for).

If you are concerned that you may need to take your child somewhere where a mask would be required, call your pediatrician for advice on whether a mask is appropriate for your child's age and circumstances. Babies' faces should not be covered.

If you have no one to watch your children while you get groceries and cannot get them delivered try contacting your local government, community groups and churches for leads on grocery delivery help. They may be able to put you in touch with someone who can fetch groceries for you so that you don't have to take your children to the store with you.

News

Starting this weekend Target and Walmart will be limiting the number of people allowed in its stores to give shoppers and staff more space to spread out and adhere to social distancing recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Beginning April 4, Target will actively monitor and, when needed, limit the total number of people inside based on the store's specific square footage," Target notes in a news release.

Walmart's corporate message is similar: "Starting Saturday, we will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store's capacity."

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At Target you will also notice staff wearing gloves and masks over the next two weeks as the company steps up its coronavirus protection measures.

Many people are choosing to stay home and order groceries online, but that's not an option for everyone as long lines at some Target's prove.

"We're incredibly proud of the commitment our more than 350,000 frontline team members have demonstrated to ensure millions of guests can count on Target, and we'll continue to focus our efforts on supporting them," says Target's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, John Mulligan.

Target is open this weekend but—along with Costco, Aldi, Publix and Trader Joe's—Target stores will be closed on Easter Sunday to give the essential employees in these stores a much-deserved break.

News
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