Once again I am postponing the usual current health information, this
time in response to a harsh interview last week of the founder of MUM by
a big-city newspaper, which may or may not be published. I want to take
time to discuss the issues.
The reporter, a woman probably in her twenties, said I was exploiting
"I beg your pardon?" I said.
She hesitated. "Well, you're getting a lot of publicity for the
museum, aren't you? Do you enjoy it?"
"Yes! It's stressful, but it livens up my life."
"Aha! You're running the museum because it's exciting. You're using
women to put excitement into your life!"
"Gosh . . . "
"And how much money have you put into MUM?"
"Oh, maybe $3000 or $4000."
"And how much have you gotten back?"
"Probably $500 over three years."
She leaned forward, studying me with huge eyes.
"I think MUM is a contribution to social history," I said.
"It's probably the only really valuable thing I will ever contribute
to society, and I'm proud of it."
"Well, yes, it's valuable, but...."
Suddenly she got up and said, "OK, Mr. Finley. A photographer will
call you to arrange an appointment. Thanks for your time."
What she asked is on many people's mind, mainly, I think, because few
people believe menstruation is worth discussing, but then few people believe
that women's history is worth discussing. There's very little of it. It's
been simply beneath remembering in a male society. So I must have other
motives for running the museum.
Another of the reporter's comments deserves mentioning and leads to
something I want to show you. She had gone upstairs to use my bathroom,
and after she came back she said, "I see you have paintings of young
women in your living room. Why do you paint them?"
"I'm an artist, and I like women. I also like faces. I've painted
people all my life, sometimes professionally."
If you've read the FAQ, you know that art runs
in my family, as does interest in women (my grandfather started the Miss
America contest). I guess I've combined the two, and added an interest in
taboo social history. Take a look at the paintings
and illustrations I've put up here on the MUM Web site. The reporter
saw some of these. I hope you enjoy them!
© 1998 Harry Finley. It is illegal to
reproduce or distribute any of the work on this Web site in any manner or
medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected
violations to firstname.lastname@example.org