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Sexist sandwich shop served humble pie in Pakistan

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With a tagline suggesting "if she won't make you a sandwich we will" and menu items named after unsavoury celebrities, one cafe in Pakistan's capital Islamabad thought it had the perfect ingredients for clientele with an appetite for sexist humour.

[ISLAMABAD]With a tagline suggesting "if she won't make you a sandwich we will" and menu items named after unsavoury celebrities, one cafe in Pakistan's capital Islamabad thought it had the perfect ingredients for clientele with an appetite for sexist humour.

Instead, Table No 5 restaurant was forced to eat its words on Thursday after a roasting on social media and a visit by city officials - a small victory for feminism in this conservative Muslim country where women's rights activists are becoming increasingly vocal.

The brouhaha began when the cafe, which opened last month, began uploading images to its Facebook account that were deemed "misogynist" by critics.

Their tagline was followed up by a menu of sandwiches named after the likes of US singer Chris Brown, who was convicted of beating his former girlfriend Rihanna, and convicted rapist Mike Tyson.

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Other celebrities featured on the menu included Bill Cosby, who has been accused by dozens of women of committing sexual abuse.

One picture "defined" the word sandwich as "an edible form of happiness, usually served by women to men as a holy offering", and described it as being synonymous to "Men rights".

But the jokes left a bad taste in some people's mouths."Poor you, this reeks of insurmountable insecurity. I hope you boys find some love in your life and manage to grow up a little bit," said commenter Rabayl M. Mirza on the restaurant's Facebook page.

Some male users hit back. "Feminazis!" declared user Sajjad Ali.

The fierce debate spilled over offline, with one female lawyer who asked to remain anonymous telling AFP that a heated discussion in her office had divided workers along gender lines.

The furore has also roiled city officials, who are investigating if the campaign was offensive.

A visit to the venue in the city's outlying F-11 neighbourhood revealed a chic establishment styled along the lines of a Parisian cafe with a price range that caters to city's well-off middle and upper classes.

The owner, a woman named Nadia Ali, was out of Islamabad on business though her husband said she may comment on the issue later.

The cafe issued an apology in its latest Facebook post, adding: "So you've undoubtedly won this round and we've decided to change the names of all our sandwiches on an emergency basis!"

AFP

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