Uorfi Javed & A Nation Hanging Its ‘Respect’ On The Shoulders Of Women

Uorfi Javed was recently shamed by a man at an airport for the dress that she was wearing. It was a maxi, halter-neck and backless dress. The man tells her, “India ka naam kharab karti ho aise sab pehenne se,” which roughly translates to, “You are spoiling India’s name by wearing clothes like this.” Uorfi verbally fought with the man herself (like so many lone battles she has had to endure), as others looked on. There was one woman who took her side, intervened and put a stop to the verbal spat.

Here’s a look at the video:

This video was shared by different media outlets on social media, besides Viral Bhayani. Most of the comments under the video slut-shamed Uorfi and lauded the ‘uncle’ for verbally attacking her. Many said things like Uorfi needs to be reminded how to dress properly, all Muslim women should wear burqas, she is spoiling India’s name, and she is trying to gain publicity by showing skin and whatnot. Here are a few examples:

However, there is a bigger question to ask here.

Why is a nation’s respect hanging on a woman’s shoulder?

In India, like in many other countries, how a woman acts and reacts is a reflection of the nation’s culture, values, and social fabric. It’s like the dignity and honour of India are intrinsically tied to how a woman behaves. Why?

For generations, women have been considered the torchbearers of their families’, thereby the nation’s reputation and honour. They are expected to maintain moral standards and patriarchal systems at large. Any perceived violation or disrespect towards women is believed to stain the reputation of the entire family and, by extension, the nation itself.

Uorfi Javed is a living, breathing ‘violation’ of societal standards for Indian women and hence, she is seen as a possible ‘threat’ to the ‘reputation’ of the country.


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A post shared by Uorfi Javed (@urf7i) 

People’s reaction to Uorfi’s dressing leads to victim blaming, hinders progress towards gender equality and may contribute to the underreporting of violence against women.

Uorfi challenges traditional perspectives and works very hard to pave the way for a more tolerant and inclusive society. She should be supported, not brought down.

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