"Time and again we read of women travelers being thwarted by male officialdom simply because they were women, often through the agency of bureaucrats too timid to admit it," the travel writer Jan Morris notes in a foreword to the catalog.
"How different is it for women now," writes Ms. Morris, who was James Morris before undergoing a sex change. "I have had the peculiar experience of traveling both as a man and as a woman and I have reached the conclusion, on the whole, that during my own traveling years the female traveler has had it easier than the male." She added, "To this day, the human sorority is stronger by far than the fraternity."
Those are encouraging words. I'm daydreaming about travelling in northern Africa, and feeling a bit daunted by the idea. Maybe things will work out better than I'm fearing. And how interesting. There can't be too many people in a position to make a first-hand comparison of the experience of travel as a man and as a woman. Call me Tiresias.