Part 1 of T.I.’s Red Table Talk: Rapper flip-flops on Deyjah Harris & ‘HymenGate’

Mr. Harris… *sighs*

Many points were made, lessons were learned, and I mean, although I think I get it, I still don’t.

Part one of T.I.’s special invite to the Jada Pinkett-Smith-led Red Table Talk, released on Sunday, gave the Live Your Life rapper a chance to clear the air on comments he made regarding ‘HymenGate’ as he called it, and his 18-year-old daughter Deyjah Harris.

The highly anticipated Facebook Watch programme didn’t exactly illuminate what he meant to say during the now-infamous interview, but rather only highlighted how little of women’s issues T.I. had knowledge of.

Which is entirely why you shouldn’t have said anything in the first place since it came from a position of control, rather than experience.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent, or I don’t understand the nuances of being a father in an information-rich society, but his whole line of thought was problematic – Deyjah-centric apology aside.

“I’m incredibly apologetic, to her. To you, sweet baby Deyjah, not to these other strangers or any of these weirdos who toss lies around for fun,” T.I said.

So, no apology for the thousands of girls going through the EXACT same situation you described? Okay.

Those ‘weirdos’ are victims, Mr. Harris, their struggles are dangerously real.

“Firstly, I came to clear up any misconceptions that have been surrounding how we interact and parent. And what is appropriate [vs] inappropriate,” he began.

Excuse me, Tip, right?

How do you make a comment, indicating that you checked the integrity of your daughter’s hymen, then to turn around and say you did it “jokingly”??

“From a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate…” Well, do you see why this is such a sore point for so many women?

“Do you understand the sensitivity of it all?” Jada Pinkett-Smith asked.

“No, I did not,” he replied.

“Do you understand it now?” she retorted.

“Yes, I do, absolutely. However, I think my intentions have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived,” he posited.

“I never said, I was in the examination room, that was an assumption. That is a falsity. I never said it was being done present-day as [an] 18-year-old, and I never said her mother wasn’t present. All of this false narrative has just been sensationalised,” the rapper went on to add.

Yes, T.I., because you LIED.

Okay, can we talk about control then? Since you clearly cannot relate otherwise.

Probably the best argument you made was your question seeking to understand the place of fathers in this ‘modern’ society.

“I wanna know, what is the place of a father in this society? Because a father like myself who wants to be involved and attentive as possible – we could draw the conclusion we just donate sperm and come pay for things. We really don’t have no say,” T.I. argued.

And I get it, Mr. Harris, I’m sure many of us do.

But it didn’t *just* start with that, did it?

‘HymenGate’ wasn’t an issue no one knew until you created it, so at this point, it’s not just about you or Deyjah anymore.

In the words of Jada Pinkett-Smith, “I don’t think anybody has a problem with you protecting your daughter. That’s not the issue. It’s the hymen part and having been a young girl myself, having raised several young women, [you realise] a woman’s journey in regards to her sexuality has to be guided.”

“There’s certain sensitivities that you might not understand and have because your relationship with the world is different [from] a woman’s relationship,” hear that, Tip? Jada speaking many truths.

Don’t get me wrong, you made several valid points as well, which proves you’re not an unreasonable father. Maybe just tone down the theatrics and focus on what’s important to you?

You were brought on to put the matter to rest but judging from the reactions to the video, there is still PLENTY of conversation to be had.

In the end, T.I., you stuck to your guns about wanting to shelter Deyjah from losing her innocence ‘too early’ and I admire that.

Despite coming from a place of good intent, maybe you should take Jada’s stance that it’s the duty of a mother, not a father, to guide a daughter through her sexual journey.

Otherwise, you cross over into the territory where you were just a few weeks ago: tight-lipped and unphased after your actions were perceived as controlling and overbearing.