Have you ever employed a man named Dirt — yup, Dirt — to build you a mile-long ranch road of decomposed granite? Well, I have, and it’s been quite an adventure. In fact, the adventure is just reaching its climax today. So away I hie to the Hill Country to inspect assorted trenches, ditches, and culverts, leaving you with with this from The Apostate (a 25-year-old ex-Muslim raised-in-Saudi-Arabia Pakistani blogger living in San Francisco). She writes a brief but enlightening feminist critique of the travel restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia and the Islamic “mahram” thing.
What’s a mahram?
[A] male “guardian” that all women have, regardless of age, who acts in their stead in public life and is supposed to accompany a woman on long journeys (such as in travel abroad). This is an Islamic rule. Need I put it more clearly? It’s an Islamic rule.
Well. Saudi Arabia is joining the electronic revolution. Should you wish to go flitting about the countryside, you can now get a permission slip from your mahram online.
The woman’s mahram will remain the one in authority to issue this online clearance. All the mahram has to do is use the secret code number given to him as a subscriber by the Passport Department to carry out online services, and provide the clearance on the e-document with that number. The woman then has to print the approval and take it with her to the airport before traveling.
Ay yi yi.