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.
More on Ansis 14-year-old daughter Fatma, married to 21-year-old Zaid: Fatma spent her day cooking and washing clothes for her in-laws. When asked the name of her husbands family, Fatma didnt know it. She remembers her father telling her and her sister, Amal, that the family needed money. She remembers that Amal was in tears because her new husband was taking her to another region. The two sisters have not seen each other since their weddings. "I am too young to be married," Fatma said. "I want to study. I want to learn how to write. I have sacrificed for my family," she continued, her voice dropping to a whisper. Minutes later, her husband arrived at the tent, and Fatma went silent. He said Fatma was "at a good age to marry." When asked if she could attend school, he shook his head no. "Shes a little too old for school," he said. Female sexual freedom among the Tuareg : Flora Drury has written up the sex habits of the Saharas Muslim Tuareg people based on the work by Henrietta Butler. Some excerpts: Their men became known as the blue men of the Sahara because the dye from their distinctive indigo scarves rub off onto their faces giving them a mysterious air. The Tuareg evoke images of a long forgotten and romantic age.