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The travails of Pakistani transvestites

But behind the ancient way of life is a culture so progressive it would even make some people in liberal western cultures blush. Women are allowed to have multiple sexual partners outside of marriage, keep all their property on divorce and are so revered by their sons-in-law that the young men wouldnt dare eat in the same room. (June 24, 2015) Simon Tomlinson recounts the difficulty of cross-dressing in Pakistan: Across conservative Pakistan, where extremists launch near-daily attacks and many follow a strict interpretation of their Muslim faith, male cross-dressers face a challenge balancing their two identities. Male and female roles are clearly defined in Pakistan and transgender people often face harassment and abuse. Some have left their villages for the anonymity of a big city, fearing the reactions of their families while still concealing their identity from neighbours and co-workers. Surprisingly though, "A 2011 Supreme Court ruling allowed transgender people to get national identity cards recognising them as neither male nor female and allowing them to vote. Transgendered politicians have also run for office." (January 20, 2015) Some Saudi restaurants ban single women : Restaurants in Saudi Arabia have posted "[Single] women not allowed" signs because they are seen as trouble. One owner explained he did so to avoid problems following cases of harassment. A blogger, Capable Politician, told of a typical single female: She would come in alone and focuses on her mobile from which emanates loud music. She then takes out a cigarette and upsets other guests who may call in the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. This could cause problem for the restaurant. So the best thing is to keep women away from restaurants unless they have a male custodian. That way the restaurant is not shut down because of the misbehaviour of an adolescent or mentally unstable woman. A second blogger, Talal, justified the decision similarly: My brother has a restaurant and he says that even though there is a section for families, there are often instances of embarrassment. Several women would come in and would speak loudly without any respect for public behaviour. He says that it is difficult for him to get them to lower their voices. A third, "Not A Simple Decision," added: Restaurant managers are usually foreigners who do not know the right way to conduct themselves and their business when there are women without male custodians around. They would rather ban them than allow them in and face serious issues.