The Truth About the Hymen

In early November, famous rapper and actor, T.I, admitted to forcing his daughter to go to the gynecologist every year to check her hymen. On her 16th birthday, he says, he left a note for her saying “Gyno. Tomorrow 9:30am”. He took her to the gynecologist and asked the doctor to check for her hymen and give him the results. The doctor explained that there are many reasons for the hymen to tear, like bike riding, athletics, horseback riding. T.I responded, “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.” 

Now let’s take a deep breath and unpack this ball of misogyny. I’m going to need everyone, especially men, to let go of their concept of the hymen. The word “hymen” was originally used to describe any membrane in the body. Later on, it was used to refer to the uterus, and then eventually it was solely referred to the so-called “virginal” membrane in the vagina. 

There is no magical barrier that separated the vagina. The hymen is not like a piece of aluminum foil covering your vagina that will puncture when something touches it. You cannot tell if someone has had sex by looking at their hymen. Most of the time, what people consider the hymen is stretchy and often a half-moon shape along the vaginal wall. 

Also, the hymen is not supposed to tear during sex. The hymen is extremely stretchy, though the degree of stretchiness varies from person to person, but if your vaginal canal can fit a ten-pound human through it and return to normal, a two-inch-thick penis isn’t going to do a ton of damage. If your hymen is tearing during sex, most of the time that means your partner just isn’t that great in bed or you need to add some extra lubricant. 

So please, stop putting so much value on the hymen. Who someone has sex with, when, or how is no one’s business so long as the people involved are all mutual consenting. Virgin testing is outdated, barbaric, and completely and unnecessarily invasive. It is a violation of a woman’s sexual and reproductive rights and takes away control over her body. Stop telling women that sex is supposed to hurt the first time and that they’re supposed to tear and bleed. This is a myth perpetuated by men so that they can disregard a woman in bed. They don’t have to make sure you’re comfortable and aroused if you’re expecting it to hurt. Honestly, men just want to think that their penis is so important that it changes a woman’s body and who she is. But it’s not. A penis entering your body does not change you, it does not define you. You define who you are, how you feel, and you control your body. 

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