Of Mother’s Milk

eat drink woman child
Creative Commons License photo credit: maessive

It’s probably not news to anyone that in Saudi Arabia, women aren’t supposed to hang out with men they’re not immediately related to.

But it’s also true that if the woman had breastfed the man when he was a child, then they’re considered related in a maternal/child way, and they’re allowed to be in the same room together without a chaperone.

Apparently, the Koran allows for this kind of workaround, and it’s not infrequent that an aunt will breastfeed a nephew, for example.

Based on this, a recent couple of fatwas have been announced (and derided) in Saudi Arabia:

If a woman and man are going to have to be together a lot, the woman should breastfeed the man.

There’s some debate about whether the milk should come from a glass or straight from the tap, but the idea is the same.

This goes in the area of, “we’ve built a taboo for ourselves that isn’t working. How can we get around it?”

And the getting around the taboo is basically nuts.


Saudiwoman’s blog post about the fatwa

Saudi women demand right to drive; threaten to breastfeed drivers

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