Port Grand, saying no to men

Published: June 6, 2011
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I had planned to write a blog about my experience at Port Grand but due to its policies that cannot happen for now.

Five years in the making, Port Grand finally opened its doors last month bringing hope of some entertainment to Karachiites.

Work on the much talked about project began in 2006. I for one had been waiting for it to open impatiently. The management promised a much earlier opening date but delays and lack of funds meant that it took almost twice the time to complete the project, and when the day finally came, I couldn’t wait to check the place out.

My favourite RJs on the radio wouldn’t stop talking about it the day after it opened. I visited Port Grand’s website and Facebook page to look at the entertainment on offer and loved what I saw. Some friends who went on opening night said that as promised, Port Grand has delivered a complete entertainment package from shopping to theatre to an array of dishes from the world over.

All of these raised my hopes and as the weekend approached, I called up a couple of boys to make a plan to go there on Saturday night. It was only when one of them asked me how we planned to get in without taking a girl along that I learned of the admission policy and all my hopes were crushed. It was supposed to be a guys’ night out but that is too much to ask, I guess.

Discrimination goes ‘grand’

Living up to its name of making everything ‘grand,’ Port Grand has taken discrimination to a new level with its admission policy of ‘Families only’ or in other words barring single men or a group of men/boys from entering.

A few months ago, I wrote an article regarding the implementation of such policy at a number of prominent restaurants after 7pm in the evening but here the policy is for the whole day! Single girls or a group of single girls are welcomed with open arms, though.

What social values are the owners trying to convey?

That all single men are inherent trouble makers or that it is not acceptable in our culture or society to go out in public without a lady’s presence?

Are we implying that going out with the ‘boys’ suggests homosexual tendencies and this is intolerable in our society and religion?

A group of girls hanging out seems not to raise such concerns. This type of polarised thinking only exists in this country. Even India, our immediate neighbour and with whom we share a big chunk of our culture, does not promote such practices.

The Port Grand management appears to be reinforcing the belief that all groups of single men should be stereotyped and marginalised. It is promoting a gender based social apartheid, and because of this a time might come where any new place or anything great to happen to Karachi might be off limits to people based on their gender. They seem to be sending out a message that single guys and their groups are socially inferior/unacceptable.

Sexism is bad business

The owners may be scared that if they do not put such restrictions their business might be affected with females not wanting to come being scared of any untoward incident because of single guys roaming around. But let me point out two very popular entertainment places that are thronged by number of people everyday including many females and do not have such a discriminatory policy in place.

1. Atrium Cinema, Pakistan’s first ever 3D cinema opened up earlier this year in Karachi and is popular. It is visited by many single men and females on a daily basis without any untoward incidents or complaints.

2. The second place is Arena, another entertainment facility not having a restrictive policy that is frequented by many on daily basis without any problems.

Tourists don’t have dates

Port Grand is supposed to be a tourist attraction but my question for the owners is:

How is a single man, visiting Karachi on business, supposed to come and see this place if he does not have female acquaintances in the city, or if he does not want to pay for a ‘Date Experience’ as Charlie Sheen would put it?

One of the basic lessons taught in management classes dealing with policy making is never to devise a policy based on a minority segment. I concede that there are some men who visit places for the sole purpose of ogling at girls and at times pass comments too. But they are in minority. The majority of the boys, against popularly held belief, are well behaved. And, this minority will be kept out by the three hundred rupee entrance fee in place in the first place and if not, then the security people deployed at the place will keep them in check. Therefore this discriminatory policy is superfluous and should be repealed. The sooner the better!

I had planned to write a blog about my experience at Port Grand and how enjoyable my evening was but alas that cannot be for now.

Dr Amyn Malyk

Dr Amyn Malik

The author is a PhD student at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who likes to write. He tweets as @amynmalik

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sumair Khemani

    Dear Dr. Amyn,

    Please stop promoting launda party.. there are way too many Laundas who are ready to spit paan gutkas all around the place.. destroy the creation.. and well yeah.. if u wanna maintain this place.. there are less chances of families destroying the ambiance..

    Scouting Zindabad! ;)Recommend

  • A.P.

    Interesting. I have always found ‘no single guys’ policy funny because really, it doesnt work that good. I have known people who would enter with a female friend and then the females enjoy on their own while guys hang out on their own. Recommend

  • Ram

    Great one!!=)
    “gender discrimination” needs to stopp…. Recommend

  • Rida Salman

    “The majority of the boys, against popularly held belief, are well behaved” . With all due respect, I had to stop reading there. Please smell the coffee :) Recommend

  • Burhan

    oh man! thats disappointing.
    I really wanted to visit this place in the next coming days, This ‘Family Only’ policy is totally rubbish. I cant even take my own brother to this place.
    sigh looks like me and my pals (all men) are going spend the next weekend at Atrium as wellRecommend

  • http://www.ayeshahoda.wordpress.com Ayesha Hoda

    “The majority of the boys, against popularly held belief, are well behaved.” I think it’s the opposite in Pakistan. And I think most women will agree with me. Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    Sexism by the Sea !!!!!!
    A time will come when it will become the generally accepted Norm in Karachi that any place developed in the City for the affluent classes will be off limits to men and groups of men, in other words, their trying to establish in the long term that female companionship is the criteria for one’s social status. Recommend

  • http://www.harisvirani.blogspot.com Haris Virani

    Even i went with my friends on Saturday evening. reached there at 5.30 because didn’t knew the opening time. Had to come back knowing the admission policy. I would say if guys only are not allowed because of the thinking that they would create mishap then only girls shouldn’t be allowed either, because now a days, as is the thinking that girls are getting ahead of guys so any one can imagine what I m trying to say.Recommend

  • Dr. Bilawal Ahmed

    @Rida Salman: I can surely imagine the crowd you have been sitting with …. You have mistakenly clicked on this link in search of Harry Potter or Power Puff girls I suppose..Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    SAY NO TO ‘SEXISM’Recommend

  • Fahad

    Just when I was starting to think ‘this guy knows what hes talking about’ and taking you seriously, you go ahead and say ‘Are we implying that going out with the ‘boys’ suggests homosexual tendencies’, umm no, theyre scared of the very straight Karachi boys, looking for a frand.
    These policies are stupid, and its refreshing to see places like Atrium not applying such restrictions (while cineplex still continues to). But don’t expect them to go away anytime soonRecommend

  • Very Concern Pakistani

    When will this keep happening, any good place comes to Karachi, we guys are not allowed in, I had to find out the hard way myself, going there and seeing that place is off limits to groups of men. They were 5 of us, 2 of us were PhD’s do u expect us to behave like ‘maila’s?Recommend

  • blah

    Why cant you bring your moms, sisters, cousins along? There must be some reason that females dont want to hang out with you guys.Recommend

  • fayez Jawed

    “Are we implying that going out with the ‘boys’ suggests homosexual tendencies and this is intolerable in our society and religion?”
    LOL! WHERE the hell did that come from? I for one see no harm in making the place accessible only to families. Not just because of the ghutka and pan spitting but also for security reasons. Makes sense. And no I did not mean to imply anything about anyones homosexual tendencies when I said that.Recommend

  • Virtuosity

    As the writer mentioned, if Arena and Atrium can work it out, so can Port Grand. I totally disagree with this stupid rule.Recommend

  • saif ur rehman

    this is the right policy because boys in our society specially in karachi are below par from their behaviour for example gutkaas, pans spitting and all that they dont care of public property even….i totally agree with first comment on this blog….Dr. amyn malik,,when a boy goes with it’s family then there is a less chance of wrong deed ok for example channa bazi…because u r with your own family….when u’ll think of doing that then other person can also see your family with same observation…that’s my point….kindly avoid such type of posts..Recommend

  • ASQ

    well they want every single guy in karachi to have a girl friend, another reason to get one!!!!!!well i was in lahore visiting coffee shops with my two cousins and were stopped coz of the same policy while a group of guys and girls were allowed to enter and at that moment i felt insulted cause i have never ever done any objectionable act in my life.pakistani society is an example of religious and liberal extremism!!!!!!Recommend

  • Virtuosity

    @blah:
    i assume ur a girl so i want to ask, would you take ur brother, father or ur cousins along on ur school friends’ get together?Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    @blah:
    It is not about female (s) wanting to hang with us or not, it is about we should not be put in a gender companionship handicap, 6 or 7 really maila guys could walk in if they had just 1 female accompanying them, so following sexism here is kinda stereotyping men for all the wrong reasons. Think about it, or alternatively 6-7 really mailee girls could walk in and behave very inappropriately, u can not stereo type a gender, it is just morally Very Very Wrong. Recommend

  • Faisal Sheikh

    Where are we heading towards, come on guys, i totally agree with the writer, sexual discrimination is being practiced in Lahore also, i mean, where are we heading towards, come on guys, we should be more open. what do you think a bunch of girls cannot make the environment unfavourable, yes they can, and I think girls have more capability in creating troubles at any place. I protest against this non-realistic policy of entry. And people like the owner of the place think that having one girl with 10 boys even is a family, he he he h eh he he he he he, very pathetic approach i must say….Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/noumaan_ Noumaan

    The author is either unfamiliar with the concerns of the average Karachiites or ignorant of the different sub cultures and ethnic groups that reside in the city. People in this city are scared of going out with their families. Even women with husbands and fathers are not safe from staring, and dirty lines being thrown at them. Such a families only policy, ensures families that they can come and enjoy. There are other places where single men, or group of men can go and spend time with their buddies. But the places where people can relax with families are very few.

    Another element that suggests author’s ignorance about the city is mentioning the tourists. What tourists? We don’t have any foreign tourists here in Karachi since the 90s and there is no hope of them visiting us anywhere in near future. Recommend

  • AF

    what exactly do they mean by family only.

    Father and Son (no matter how old they are) is a family
    two brothers (no matter how old they are) is a family

    if the stupid family only rule does not abolish then there will be no place where group of men can go and have a gathering.Recommend

  • Tariq Bhatti

    As a single male from Karachi, unfortuntaely I will have to disagree with the author.

    I am happy to forgo this experience if it means my female relatives can enjoy their time here without being hastled by men.

    Thats the price we have to pay for the reputation that we have sadly created for ourselves.

    I will take comfort from the photographs taken!!Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/nubeals Nabeel Khalid

    To be fair, us guys do tend to be a little rowdy when it comes to acting responsibly in public. The presence of women ensures we keep a check on our behaviour. I don’t support Port Grand’s discrimination policy because it borders on sexism, but I do understand the underlying reasoning. Recommend

  • Guy from Kgs

    This place has been made ‘Families Only’ to please some nakhrebaz aunties and burger bachees from Karachi’s affluent area(s). If you think about it, by adhereing to their demands, aren’t you reinforcing the stereo type they all carry, that all men are gauranteed trouble makers. Risk is a part of doing business in Pakistan, if there is a risk of ‘maila’ guys walking in, that risk should have been taken, two wrongs do not make a right, and to the ladies out there, girls, aunties whats wrong with u people, u guys have husbands, fathers, brothers, boyfriends, they should not be deprived of such a place because of their gender. You ladies would hit the roof if this place barred entry to Ladies only groups, feminist lobby groups would be screaming and shouting ‘This is Pakistan, what can u expect, but pure mistreatment of women’ blah blah blah’.
    Seriously learn to feel some empathy for your fellow human beings. Recommend

  • http://afisays.blog.com Norwegian Pakistani

    First of all where did homosexuality came into the picture? Very weird argument! I personally believe it is good that they are not allowed because whenever I am in Pakistan as a female I feel so uncomfortable because of these single men who walk around and make me feel so uncomfortable by giving very disrespectful remarks and sometimes in crowds do inappropriate acts. I know not all single men are like this but the majority is. Therefore, I think this is an appropriate policy. I have never been to Karachi and would love to visit this place where I know I can walk freely without being harassed and glared upon.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    I feel they are cutting the share of the revenues. Its us guys who like to eat out a lot than families. An average guy like to have some hangout with his punter party 3 days a week and what goods a place other than food street by the sea. Seriously. I don’t think its about sexism its about ” Prevention” of some sea side brawl guys might get into over some “line connections”.Recommend

  • Ather

    Dr. Amyn,
    Can you please tell us if Cineplex (that have existed here since last so many years) ever allowed men coming in alone?? The answer is NO!!! So please stop promoting ‘launda party’ and get up your facts straight rather than manipulating them.

    Thanks,
    AtherRecommend

  • Londoner

    I am a business man based in the UK, I visit Karachi a fair bit on Business, So will I need to hire an escort to be able to visit this place or have my contact bring his family along? What on Earth is going on in that country? Recommend

  • Oz man

    Seriously? ‘Families Only’, for the love of God, this is not some 2 bit Cafe on Khayaban-e-Shabaz, it is a project that should be open doors to all of Karachi. With the 300 rupees entry charge, how many so-called rough men do they expect will visit in a long run? For low to middle income men, regular visits to such an establishment is not financially sustainable, and it will probably be a once in a blue moon thing, as is the case with other high end places. Recommend

  • Adeel Ahmed

    @Sumair Khemani:
    So you are saying all the maasis of lyaari with their paans can come and spit in Port Grand but not men… sexism of the highest order…

    No offence intended to lyariitesRecommend

  • Adeel Ahmed

    A very serious question…
    Is anyone a lawyer here… can you advise if this is actually illegal in any way and if one can go in court against this “Families only” policy?
    I mean sexism/discrimination is surely not allowed legally, right?Recommend

  • kamran

    “you are allowed to stare at our women only if you are also accompanied by women which can be stared upon by us”
    -Umer Sharif Recommend

  • Sarcastic Guy

    For the feeble minds:

    The homophobic tendency question is a sarcastic one for all those who could not decipher it and are attacking the writer.

    There is at least one more sarcastic remark in the blog. A million dollars for anyone who will pick it out! Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    @Ather:

    Where in the article did you read about Cineplex, mate? Cineplex has the sexist policy in place for years now but because of Atrium, it will be out of buisness soon.

    The rumor has it that Espresso is already closing down its outlet there. Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    @Sumair Khemani:
    Are you saying it is morally wrong to be a guy and to hang out in a guys group? You make the word ‘launda’ sound derogratory, is there a lawyer in the house, can we sue Port Grand, Espresso and Cineplex for unfair sexist discrimination? Is there something in the law.Recommend

  • Aniq Ernest

    Hi,
    I personally feel it is a very good move by them. lets keep it tht way.Recommend

  • HK

    I think they just don’t want it to be another Quaid-e-Azam ka mazaar. Makes sense .. I don’t think it has anything to do with genders. As for Atrium the prices in those areas are so high which filters half the “maila” population men women alike. My parents and brothers are much more comfortable with places with families only policy.Recommend

  • Fahad

    Oho, such a shame. I was actually looking forward to ogling girls and chewing ghutka.Recommend

  • human

    Aur agar yahi rule ‘group of ladies’ kay liye bana hota tou ab tak qayamat dha chuki hoteen… Phir sub ko ‘human rights’ , ‘gender discrimination’ , ‘equal rights’ etc yaad aa jatay… women rights NGOs roads per nikal aateen!!!.. pathetic… double standards of this ridiculous society!Recommend

  • Talha

    I am going to start an escorting business soon in Karachi so that men can hire females in order to enter parks, clubs, cafes, restaurants, cinemas etc.

    I am going to be as rich as Mr Mansha soon.

    Partay.Recommend

  • Shafak Sajid

    First of all it seems that all that is pissing you off is that single girls are allowed to go to Port Grand while single boys aren’t and I quote “Single girls or a group of single girls are welcomed with open arms, though.”
    I don’t understand the need of the comparison. So basically if someone read your article and instituted a policy banning a group of single girls as well from entering Port Grand you should technically be satisfied.

    Secondly, how is it that you are so sure that no “untoward incidents or complaints” haven’t taken place at atrium or arena? Are you part of the management?
    Maybe it’s because every girl does not run to write an article every time she is stared at or harassed?

    Thirdly, “are we implying that going out with the ‘boys’ suggests homosexual tendencies and this is intolerable in our society and religion?” Seriously?

    Lastly, “because of this a time might come where any new place or anything great to happen to Karachi might be off limits to people based on their gender. “ I don’t understand which Karachi you live in but there are a lot of places that are off limits to women. Sadly, women do not even have a policy in place that we can challenge. Women cannot go to those places solely because they are women.

    I agree that not all boys are “inherent troublemakers” but to say that they are a minority is stretching it a bit too far.
    I feel like all that you are concerned with is having fun with your friends at Port Grand and/or coffee shops and that is fine. Freedom of speech entitles you to write about that. Just please refrain from using trying to portray your article as being about gender discrimination; because it’s not. Gender discrimination implies a much more serious and grave concern, which is deeply entrenched in our society. It surely goes far and beyond whether you and your group of friends were let into Port Grand or not. Recommend

  • Talha

    Get your friend to wear a burka or wear one yourself and enter the place.Recommend

  • http://accidentallyhuman.weebly.com/ Sanya Shiraz

    That’s a very sensible point you’re making there. Of course, you just wana check out the place, and now due to some ridiculous rule you can’t. Yes, its infuriating and unfair to YOU.

    But here’s the thing, go to any place in Karachi to just hang out and there they are. Staring at you, with their nauseating smiles. They are a pathetic piece of work. Now you tell me one thing, of course you being not allowed, is unfair, but is being stared at in a perverted way particularly fun? No. It’s a pain in the neck because you can’t even enjoy your darn trip. Of course, a lot of us are indifferent – but then that does not change the fact that it’s wrong and impolite to just stare at people or pass disgusting comments. Now THAT is annoying too you know.Recommend

  • http://www.6la8.com Confused

    It’s a lazier way of avoiding any misbehavior from groups of ‘londas’. Agreed, it is sexist, but it helps them keep a lot of trouble out of the way, so bear with it.Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    @Sanya Shiraz:
    Sanya jee, 2 wrongs do not make a right, judt because ladies are traditionally on te receiving end, doesn’t mean reverse sexism should be followed, if u ladies feel a guy is making u uncomfortable, you guys should stand up to the boy, not support unfairness to all boys alike. Cmon show some empathy u ladies, u girls have sons, husbands, brothers, fathers, boyfriend’s etc, show some empathy. Because of the rough guys out there, why should the rest of us suffer?Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    @Shafak Sajid:

    So your solution to having places where women can’t go is to creat places where men can’t go and whoa we are on equal footing now? Rather than trying to make those places more accessible to women you advocate creating more places with gender bias. Kudos

    If a girl doesn’t get a job because of her gender that is gender discrimination but a guy not getting entry into a place because of his sex is not? It is the same principle. Start calling a spade a spade!

    As far as untoward incident is concerned at the two palces mentioned in the article, nothing has happened while I have been present there and neither has anything come in print or on the gossip radar. Our country is known to spread gossip like wild fire and hence it is hard to imagine that an incident would get hidden. There is a possibility of it, though, I concede but highly unlikely.Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    Definition from wikipedia of sexism

    Sexism, a term coined in the mid-20th century,[1] is the belief or attitude that one sex is inherently superior to, more competent than, or more valuable than the other. It can also include this type of discrimination in regards to gender. Sexism primarily involves hatred of, or prejudice towards, either sex as a whole (see misogyny and misandry), or the application of stereotypes of masculinity in relation to men, or of femininity in relation to women.[2] It is also called male and female chauvinism.

    Sex discrimination is discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. Certain forms of sexual discrimination are illegal in some countries, while in other countries it may be required by law in various circumstances.[3]

    Any more doubts people?Recommend

  • Shehryar

    @Sumair Khemani… with all due respect, what makes one so sure that girls n women who eat pan or other things , wont spit it out like men(as u say).. a good article though.. this gender discrimination needs to end !!!Recommend

  • A.P.

    @Dr. Bilawal Ahmed:

    I am sure Rida’s comment is coming from Harry Potter. Hey but may be it came from the time when she stopped reading her novel in the bus and looked around and found 3/4th of the bus, on the other side of ‘bars’, ogling at her with a look that makes her almost as uncomfortable as a bunch of guys on bikes trying to follow her on rickshaw. Or may be, it was twilight, or maybe, just may be, she was reading Fakhry.

    I dont hold popular believe that the whole male population is not well behaved but we human tend to remember anything which is more then average behavior, be it postive or negative.Recommend

  • Asad Baig

    I visited Port Grand with my Family a couple of days ago and would like to say it is a very nice place to visit.
    I can understand the frustration of people like Dr.Aymn and other single guys. I myself faced the same situation(s) when I was single and had to miss out on many places in the past. I also know that there are only few single men who make/create disturbance and this affects the good guys too. First we have to become a Nation where we are Disciplined,Respect Females and Rule of Law takes place for Every One. In other countries singles are allowed because if he breaks law he is caught and punished. In Pakistan because it is difficult to catch a single guy easily as he can run away after creating a problem and he may also bring more single guys with him loaded with weapons thus this creates havoc with the people and place. For Families only is like a Safety Check and needs to be implemented because of almost non existence of law and order and its implementation in a country like Pakistan.Comparing the number of people visiting Port Grand with Arena and Atrium Cinema is wrong because the number of people in Port Grand is much bigger and mostly they( Arena and Atrium Cinema) are for young people.All the Big Expos held in Karachi at Expo Center,like Dawn Lifestyles,by Express media and others are Family only because of the simple reason that more often than not singles create trouble for the people visiting and the organizers.Recommend

  • akbar

    cant agree with u more on this as we friends never had a chance to go to cineplex khi but atrium has solved our problem …..its all about proper management …if u have a good one then no worries!!!!!Recommend

  • Waqar Younus

    thats good initiative………atleast it wont be crowded with boys on weekends and families will have a separate place to enjoy……..Recommend

  • Majid Ur Rehman

    I walked through the magnanimity of the monarchs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi wearing an apperal bought from 1Dhm Shop. I stared at the naked legs of short skirts wearing western women, looked at the beautiful eyes of burqa clad Arab ladies and appreciated the dimples on the faces of Lebanese beauties but no one stopped me to enter into the grandeur, no one asked me to bring a female with me. Recommend

  • ambreen

    an unbelievably dumb ruleRecommend

  • mohamed hassan

    There is a very simple solution. They should just have 1-2 days a week where anyone can get in. Girls can avoid going on those days if they feel uncomfortable and the men can have a guys night out. This works out for everyone…well it may not be the perfect solution but definitely better than the policy in place now.Recommend

  • parvez

    The writer has a solid point. The management has a Rs 300 entry as stated and that should work as a filter to some extent. They could devise another filter by placing an age limit on the single male,seeing they are paranoid to a fault. But a blanket ban on single males is a little much.
    Just think, this facility is built in the port, so one would would expect foreign ships personnel (sailors) to visit because of the convenience. Now if they are turned away that would be absurd.Recommend

  • http://none Bangash

    Since I am now a married man, I no longer care about such restrictions ! hahaha.Recommend

  • a.a. shaikh

    discrimination is totally unacceptable. and it is considered UNETHICAL internationally. if there is any such policy then it should be for both groups i.e. all girls and all boys. Recommend

  • Huzefa

    Say no to sexism. This is blatant discrimination and it stems from ignorance on the part of the management of Port Grand. What makes it worse is that Port Grand is made on KPT land which is a public institution. Next thing they will make all the public parks, shopping malls, restaurants families only. It has to stop. I just don’t get the argument from people who are for this policy, please put yourself in the shoes of the people who are being discriminated against.

    Dr Malik it would be awesome if you could also take the next step and file a petition in court against this discriminatory policy. Recommend

  • http://blog.shanrizvi.com Shan Rizvi

    I disagree with the author for the most part.

    First of all, I do hate the term “Families Only”; as someone pointed out above, two brothers could be a family too and a group of male and female friends is not a family! Very silly choice of words.

    Secondly, you have to understand the reason behind policies like these. Men, even if we’re talking about a minority of them, go around being rowdy and stalker-y and the worst thing is that it is never punished. There is nothing wrong with even approaching a woman I think but stalking, harassing, insulting, and misbehaving should be punished. Nothing happens in most cases and in serious cases, MAYBE the relevant guy would be kicked out but is that really enough? We have created a society where women feel insecure at worst and uncomfortable at best.

    The “no stags policy” is understandable but only in the short run; the ideal solution would be to create an environment where women feel safe, where they know for sure that anyone causing them discomfort would be dealt with. In the absence of such an environment, the “no stags policy” makes sense. Recommend

  • faisal

    @Virtuosity:
    I think some places should be allowed for families only and if you wana hang out with you or friends or colleagues you can select any other place.Recommend

  • fza

    hahahahahha do well behaved boys exist in our society lolx

    even if they do then how come you forget the terrorist threats we face in our country… of course they (the khudkhush) come alone…they don’t accompany any females…so its for you to decide Port Grand or a bomb blast (God forbids)
    its good that they have banned it ….if you really wanna go then take your family, cousins or female friends..Recommend

  • faisal

    @Guy from Kgs:
    Come on be realistic. Ask yourself if a place have “family only” policy. How many percentage of guys able to entered there by use any other means.

    i agree with you all men are not trouble maker but there intentions are not written on their forheadRecommend

  • .

    I have to disagree with the writer. I had also planned to go for a ‘boys night out’ to Port Grand but yes, in this city men are usually inherent trouble makers and nobody can deny that. I also fully utilize the non-gender bias policy of other places like Atrium Cinemas but everywhere you go you find some groups of men causing problems. In Atrium I was sitting above this group of men. They were smelling terrible and would keep laughing and passing comments during a serious movie. When the cinema staff was not looking i saw one man spit pan twice right next to the seat. The place began to smell and it destroyed my movie experience. I was also there with boys to but we have to accept that if you do not make a families only policy you are asking for trouble. I to will unfortunately suffer because of these measures taken by the port grand owners but we cannot really blame them.Recommend

  • Virtuosity

    @faisal:
    well Mr. Faisal, i totally disagree.

    How do u define family? If i want to go somewhere with my dad, i wont be allowed in a place with such a stupid rule because we’re both males, now will i?Recommend

  • http://muzikpakistan.blogspot.com Murtaza

    To be honest I am totally against the sexism approach, but being in Pakistan I think it’s better to impliment that approach otherwise you will end up having a place which a decent person might never visit, Atrium etc are expensive places for lower / lower middle to get to and thus are safe, an open ended place like this will only attract “TAAARU” people, no offence but thats the sad state of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Nadia Sultan

    @Tariq bhatti. I respect ur maturity n higher understanding of the social undercurrents of the pakistani society than most men commenting here! I wish thy cud b on the receiving side of it once in their life to fully comprehend the psychological after effects of street harassment. Thy r naive enough to think tht if thy never did it then no one else cud do it as well!

    Yes it’s not a perfect solution and it has it’s loopholes but it’s a precaution nonetheless and very much appreciated by the female population of the town who wud rather have a relaxed evening out around decent ppl than support the dreams of recently-on-the-receiving-side-of-sexual-discrimination men!

    @naumaan – hell yeah on the tourist point

    Plus if most mailas in this city weren’t so desperate we audit b complaining!Recommend

  • Nadia Sultan

    @Majid ur Rehman – it is actually the people exactly like u that thy r trying to avoid while implementing this ruleRecommend

  • Tajdar Chaudry

    @A.P.:
    You need to check your rumor mill. Espresso’s always packed from morning to night. If they’re going out of business I dont know which establishments are actually managing to stay “in” it.Recommend

  • shaikh

    It is proven then that guys tend to be a little more restrained and less perverted when with the opposite sex, be it familly or any other person accompaniying .
    would you want to take your familly to a place which is filled with mela guys commenting on them and stuff….
    its just to promote more families to come, I would love to take my familly along if Recommend

  • Maria

    The reality is that Muslim men in Muslim countries have a horrible habit of leering and behaving inappropriately. This is the reality and explains the family only policy. How many Muslim men would behave obnoxiously in the company of their mothers and sisters? This is the reality. Until the men of the nation change, I support this policy of families only so people can enjoy themselves decently.Recommend

  • Dr Salman

    After going through all the Cons and Pro, its clearly unacceptable to behold the policy of sex discrimination. However if in case of mishaps that do often happens at places where male gender entry is absolutely band, one cant limit down the majority for enjoying the equal rights and liberty!!
    Max happiness concerns to max number of people what I believe and discrimination leaves you no where but only pain and sufferings. If launda bazi believe to be the Pakistani culture , than move ahead and accept it as you by self part of it.. Owner must come across a methodology for mutually entertaining both the parties like fixing weekends for the families. Also to a point where I would like to raise about the third group that are heterosexual and being the voters officially for nominating elections by this year. Think broadly now as you self dividing the nation by making polices of no values and worth!!Recommend

  • Shehzad

    I suggest to to the alll BOYS group……make mockery of this rule….pay 100 rupees to a hijra at the signal…., get entrance and leave him/her over there…..and get on your own…Recommend

  • Shafak Sajid

    @Amyn Malik
    I don’t know which part of my reply made you assume that I believe the solution lies in making places inaccessible to men to make men and women equal. That is a ridiculous argument if I ever heard one.
    Incase you didn’t read it, I said I AGREE with you that all boys are not inherent trouble makers. But come on, you cannot be naive enough to say that they are the minority.

    The point is that at least try and be more sensitive to the issue which as I said earlier is much more grave than belittle it by passing statements like ““because of this a time might come where any new place or anything great to happen to Karachi might be off limits to people based on their gender.” I am NOT saying that men shouldn’t be allowed to enter Port Grand but at least dont turn a blind eye to and not recognize that places in Karachi already are off limits to people based on there gender. As Saniya said earlier “go to every other place in Karachi to just hang out and there they are. Staring at you, with their nauseating smiles.”

    As far as the atrium, arena point is concerned, I am sure that every time a man ogles at a girl it does not hit your gossip radar. Again just because you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I don’t know if it does or does not and thus, I am not going to make any claims.
    Your point stands that a group of single men should not be stereotyped. But it is lost in the blatant generalizations and insensitive assumptions that you make in your article. Recommend

  • eXiT0r

    there is a family only policy only because when boys/men come in a group they start to do “Maila” stuff like spitting pan/gutka, doing chichora stuff. Only to stop this they have made this policy but i think they should change their policy and should make families only on weekends.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    Dr Malik, very well written by you, if I might, I would like to add my 2 bits to this as well. We have been talking about the problem here, since this blog went up, how about we talk about a few solutions. I would like to share my thoughts on a few possible solutions here. Firstly considering how they have priced it at 300, and considering the magnitude of investment that has gone in, it is only a matter of time when this 300 becomes 500, because of the high operational costs they will be kinda forced to increase it, since by keeping single men off bay they are depriving themselves of a lot of revenue. So here is an alternative solution

    Firstly, make it ‘Families Only’ on Friday,Saturday and Sunday, which is when most families and couples would be most comfortable going. While unrestricted entry should be awarded on Monday to Thursday. Today they are barring single guys, tomorrow they will be restricting the entry of people based on their clothing, their appearances or not looking like they come from Karachi’s elite. If they ever do that, that would reflect the shallowness of the owner’s vision.

    Secondly, since they have spent billions of rupees on the project, I am sure they can spend a few more to ensure safety, security, public harmony by having the right staff, admin, management, security personnel present to make sure that inappropriate behavior does not take place, Id agree with one of the above comments, that this rule reflects a short cut approach to handling the situation, it reflects lack of innovative thinking. Were a nation used to liking short cuts, at the same time, we are unable to feel empathy with those missing out, which explains the number of people in favor of this sexist policy of admissions. We are unable to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.

    As I earlier suggested a Price Rise Forecast, Raise it 500 rupees on Entry by 2012, with a 300 Rupee refundable at the Entrance, charge for Valet parking if there is currently no charge for Valet. 50 Rupees per car, the Valet service would pay for itself.

    And To Dr Malik and others, here, I would recommend we approach the Resturant owners Association of Karachi, the relevent Hospitality Board and the Karachi chamber of Commerce and address this issue immediately before it becomes a permanent trend in the country. Amongst places for the elite, this trend started with a 2 bit cafe in DHA, now includes a Cinema, Several resturants and Cafes, public parks, Shopping malls, Concerts etc and now this, the greatest thing to be ever constructed in Karachi. This is just sad.

    A few things more, I’d like to say, if there was a genuine threat to ladies from single guys, they would not be going with guys, or to places where a lot of guys come or places without restrictions. Here is an interesting scenario, Espresso on Khayaban-e-Shabaz has a 7 pm curfew for guys, but majority of patrons visiting the Cafe before 7 are females, and also to their Zamzama outlet where restrictions do not apply.

    And Ladies, seriously, you ladies consider this a huge huge personal achievement when ever some place manages to practice this sexist policy towards guys. It doesn’t make it a place for the girls like some of u above have claimed, your still going with your boyfriends, your guy friends, your brothers, your family members, how is it a ‘Ladies place’, Port Grand is not Port Ladies. If you guys want to fight for equality, fight for things that matter like equal employment and education opportunities, right of not to be physically abused, right for representation etc. And to the guys here, seriously you guys, its natural and normal to want to check out good looking girls around you, but social etiquette would dictate that it is inappropriate, seriously make a genuine effort to just practice common courtesy, which is the easiest thing in the world, you need not do more Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    And I am so totally like surprised no one has attacked the ET blogs yet, for addressing a so-called ‘Burger people’ issue, lol and I am also waiting for some one to drag religion into this debate, somehow religion and attacks on burgerism become a part of most blogs from comments.Recommend

  • Anum

    OK first off the homosexual tendency comment is a bit of an overreaction. I dont think the PG management thought that when making their policy.

    Secondly, like many have said before me, the policy makes sense. We cannot avoid the fact that we live in a culture of stereotypes and that goes both ways with males and females. I guess this policy was made keeping in mind the popularly held belief about the male gender. I agree all males are not like that but certainly quite a number of them are. Plus these days males, well dressed and driving cars and who look educated have also been seen to behave like illiterates. It is quite unfortunate but it is a fact.

    It is quite true that these days females are no less when it comes to such inappropriate behaviour, however, this fact has not been accepted yet as our old stereotypes still rule.

    Lastly, I just would like to point out that there is nothing wrong in having a family only ‘hangouts’. I have been to concerts with my family, hangouts, eating places and a lot more and I have had a blast! I have gone out with my friends to all sorts of places as well and I had my fun with them too. So there is no point in complaining about something that can be easily avoided. Keep an open mind and work around it. As one of the people above pointed out this is important for security reasons too and for that I totally support this policy.Recommend

  • sars

    I completely agree. How do you ascertain that men in “families” are going to behave better than the average joe???.

    We are a society where the mum in law actually eggs on and helps her son beat up his wife.

    It would be better to open for everyone but have strict rules about acceptable behavior and good policing.Recommend

  • a.a. shaikh

    @fza, how can u gurantee that the suicide bombers are always male? they can also be females in abaya and with BIG handbags. if you are so afraid of these activities then proper security systems are installed to detect any such threat. Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    ET, Why are you not approving my comments, I offered genuine constructive feedback as suggestions, as opposed to the usual rant, we have seen above. Process my comments, already.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    I would like to Offer some Constructive Suggestion here,
    make the families only policy restricted to Weekends, Mon-Thu no restrictions.
    and where Port Grand has spent Billions on the project I am sure they can spend a few million more to ensure that they have the right staff to manage and administer the place and ensure security is there and no uncivil behavior takes place. It is about good management. With a major project like this having such a sexist initiative, I am afraid this will become a permanent trend here in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sufyan

    I agree wid policy if u like this place go on wid ur families it’s bit compulsory to enjoy weeked wid guys only sab jaga Larkay hi pohanch to family Kahan jaye. Well done port grand Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    Policies like these promote and encourage Sexism at public places, two wrongs do not make a right regardless. I fear a project off the magnitude of Port Grand, will lay a bench mark for all future projects meant for citizens of the city of Karachi will also bear this Tag ‘Families Only’ and the gender apartheid would become all too common. Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    @Shafak Sajid:
    And your point is ? Your argument doesn’t make a lot of sense, just because there are countless places where guys currently do not have restrictions on entry, doesn’t mean we should be okay and accepting to the idea, that all things good and great that come to our city should be off-limits to us. Seriously do you think, it is a massive victory for female kind that guys are given some sort of sexism in our society? Serious? Aren’t they bigger things you ladies could fight for?Recommend

  • Martin

    @Shafak Sajid:
    What Generalizations, do you speak off?Recommend

  • Shafak Sajid

    Which part of I am NOT saying that men shouldn’t be allowed to enter Port Grand or Your point stands that a group of single men should not be stereotyped or I said I AGREE with you that all boys are not inherent trouble makers did you not get?

    No I don’t think that banning guys from entering port grand is any sort of victory for anyone.
    Though I think there was a valuable suggestions somewhere there which said that some days could be open to public and other days could be for “families only” Recommend

  • Saad

    Lol. No fun without ‘londapann’!Recommend

  • Dr. Bilawal Ahmed

    Definition of “FAMILY” in the Islamic Republic …. Group of people accompanied by at least one consort , who is not male, no matter any kinship exist among them .

    I dunno how it is proclaimed that group of guys coming in with couple of ladies will behave in the ethical domain. If it was a free port entry I’d agree to be family only policy , but rs. 300 at entry, subject to increase , is an appropriate filter to keep that crowd away …. or else I am thinking to start an escort agency … Recommend

  • Fatima Imran

    @Ayesha Hoda:

    Agreed to Ayesha, we have to accept our culture and single boys should not b allowed here in Port Grand.Recommend

  • MAK

    The ‘no single boys policy’ is what will keep Port Grand a postive experience for all visitors. Like it or not, the majority of the places implementing this policy are successful, including malls ( park towers etc) & restaurants. Atrium is not in the same category as port grand and Arena is focussing on young adults, so it would be detrimental to implement such a policy. However, by and large, if any recreational area wants to be successful and present a clean/friendly image for families, they will have to adopt this policy and rightfully so.Recommend

  • AF

    hopefully.. one day i will create a place where single girl / group of girls would not be allowed. they should be accompanied by a male. Then girls will start complaining about the draconian ruleRecommend

  • Muhammad Arshad

    I propose that some one with the right connections get in touch with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, CDGK, the Resturant Owner’s Association and whichever Government authority is in charge of Hospitality, it is high time this fashionably Sexist trend comes to an end.Recommend

  • Muhammad Arshad

    @AF:
    Rightly Said, if they prevented the entry of all ladies only groups also, there would be outrage, out cry, feminist lobby groups run by Burger aunties and wana be feminist burger girls would come out on to the Streets and start shouting that this is yet another example of Male Chauvanism in Pakistan, another example of gender inequality, another example of mistreatment of women etc. Seriously what double standards, the same ladies are saying its Okay for such a sexist policy to exist when it comes to guys, some of them actually think this is a payback for the broader gender inequality. Observe the above comments, most are arguing let the girls have atleast some places, you guys have too many places…blah blah blah blah.Recommend

  • sowhat?

    Amyn, do you have sisters? And if so, have you every gone out to eat or shop with your family? Do you not hate it when groups of ‘lafanga’ guys gawk at your sisters? Doesn’t the mere sight of a ‘herd’ of guys make you uncomfortable when you are with your family? I am certainly not saying that such ‘gawking’ traits are found in all guys but if you notice, 8/10 groups of guys out there will be involved in gawking at girls, and the like. How do you stop them from doing so? The only way is to let families have Some places to hang out peacefully in. I am sorry but your crying and ranting has just not been justified by what you have written. Recommend

  • Burhan

    A stupid reason for not letting enter the boys…not all boys are laundas or belong to launda party..like all girls are not laundis!!!! there must be some solution.!!! We’ve to accept that our schools and even so called (elite schools) or educational institutes and many parents have failed in giving the ethics to their child which are required…but if the administration of the port is so cautious about the environment why they don’t put a security check and make it more effective just as it is working in fortress stadium lahore (although it is less effective)….and one solution is that they should educate people by putting on the banners of our core values (which seems of be impractical) or deploying such kind of trained staff who instead of fighting with those boys educate them in a proper manner..at least 10% would get changed…but see the advantage..more 10% would get educated (although a little) and they would also increase the revenue of port.!! Recommend

  • Haroon Khan

    @Sumair Khemani: As you are referring to stop promoting launda party,to add for this solution i guess u mean all those single men/boys out there should start dating or get married to enjoy facilities offered at places like port grand.Excuse me! I strongly disagree with this.Can judge all the men/boys on this basis that few of us has the capacity to over cross our manners in such situations. Believe me respect for opposite sex comes by birth,if you aren’t gifted with such respect i bet no matter you are with your wife,sister or mother you still possess disrespecting the opposite sex. And to quote one thing more its often the married men who gets out of limits in disrespecting other women in the vicinity,so according to your promoting of launda party married men should equally be banned aswell. So how would you like to see a place where only females are allowed with the employees all being males?

    And secondly as the author said the entrance fees does filters out all those minority who sole purpose is everything else than to enjoy the facilities provided there. I guess the head of port grand management is surely a feminist,who has tried her level best to negate men in any possible way but couldn’t completely do so because females brings males and majority the place is run by male employees. Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    Im still waiting to hear something from the people at Port Grand or KpT, i am sure some one there has probably read this by now.Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    Kpt in part owns the project, and the chairperson of KpT is a female, maybe she secretely hates men, i wonder if her husband and son know, lol.Recommend