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Travel Advisory: Women Legally Required to Breastfeed Adult Males in Saudi Arabia

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Travel Advisory: Women Legally Required to Breastfeed Adult Males in Saudi Arabia

Tourism in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow since it’s been revealed that Saudi clerics advocate adult breastfeeding — that is, men drinking women’s breast milk to establish “maternal relations.”

Couldn’t they just establish “maternal relations” by having women wipe dirt from their faces with Mom Spit or have the women admonish them with a proper motherly phrase such as, “Because I said so!”?

I guess I should offer those brilliant ideas to Sheikh Al Obeikan, an adviser to the royal court and consultant to the Ministry of Justice, who set off this debate recently when he said on TV that women who come into regular contact with men who aren’t related to them ought to give them their breast milk so they will be considered relatives.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I think somebody needs to give the sheik a lesson in how lactation works.  One important fact:  It doesn’t always work.

“The man should take the milk, but not directly from the breast of the woman,” Al Obeikan said, according to Gulf News. “He should drink it and then becomes a relative of the family, a fact that allows him to come in contact with the women without breaking Islam’s rules about mixing.”

Obeikan said the fatwa applied to men who live in the same house or come into contact with women on a regular basis, except for drivers.

Al Obeikan, who made the statement after being asked about a 2007 fatwa issued by an Egyptian scholar about adult breast-feeding, said that the breast milk ought to be pumped out and given to men in a glass.

However, his remarks were followed by an announcement by another high-profile sheik, Abi Ishaq Al Huwaini, who said that men should suckle the breast milk directly from a woman’s breast.   Oh no.  No, no, no, no, no.

Surprise, surprise:  Shortly after the two sheiks weighed in on the matter, a bus driver in the country’s Eastern Region reportedly told one of the female teachers whom he drives regularly that he wanted to suckle milk from her breast. The teacher has threatened to file a lawsuit against him.

Under Islamic law, women are encouraged to nurse their children until the age of 2.  It is common for sisters, for example, to breast-feed their nephews so they will not have to cover their faces in front of them later in life. The custom is called being a “breast milk sibling.”  Breast milk siblings have to be breastfed before the age of 2 in five “fulfilling” sessions.  Islam prohibits sexual relations between a man and any woman who breastfed him in infancy. They are then allowed to be alone together when the man is an adult because he is not considered a potential mate.

I can only imagine the cringe-worthy pick-up lines this news will encourage among male tourists.

Because sharing is caring, as I tell my kids. (Except my wine. Never my wine.)
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Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

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