first page | contact the museum | art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | belts | bidets | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books (and reviews) | cats | company booklets directory | costumes | cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | famous people | FAQ | humor | huts | links | media | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | religion | menstrual products safety | science | shame | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour (video) | underpants directory | videos, films directory | washable pads

read the second A Note from Germany - see another Camelia ad

Read Habiger's essay on menstruation in ancient Egypt

A Note from Germany (1997)
by Petra Habiger

When I came across the MUM site for the very first time I was surprised. I had never seen or heard of anything comparable before.

I thought that this museum was a really great idea! The topic "menstruation" is still taboo and many people (men and women) don't exactly know how to behave or deal with it, because there are still few people (men and women again) who really understand the mental and physical processes or accept them as something as natural as eating or breathing. There are also many prejudices against menstruation coming from ancient myths.

And the industry of female hygiene products brazenly exploits that.

Well, part of my job is to inform young women and girls at schools about women's health and advise them concerning menstrual hygiene. I once posed a question to MUM, and I have to admit that I was not pleased that my question was answered by a male. Of course, I believed that a Museum of Menstruation could only be run by a woman.

Well, I was wrong! Harry Finley is the proof! Of course, a man can never really "feel like a woman," but Harry convinced me that it is often better that someone not personally involved in a subject create a museum for that subject. For Harry, menstruation is interesting from the standpoint of the history of culture.

The MUM site is unique and marvelous. I never saw something of that complexity before so full of information. Maintaining and updating those pages is a lot of hard work.

I would almost say that the MUM pages represent a kind of online museum. You can find everything that has to do with menstruation in the broadest sense.

Recently Harry asked me to provide him with news from abroad from Germany or Europe. It's a pleasure for me to do that.

And for all who want to know something about me:

My name is Petra, I am 31 and I live with my husband, my daughter and a little cat in a small village in the beautiful landscape of southern Germany.

My career started when one day I was asked to stand in for a friend who got sick and do her job as a counselor at the health department for three weeks. As I was already engaged in such things at a high school, I got to like it and I decided to stay with it. I also work as a bookkeeper, but I have the liberty to divide up my time by myself.

Now I am part of a group of women which teaches girls and women at schools, high schools and colleges the broad field of practical female health. We try to answer all questions women hesitate to pose. And this means especially questions concerning the health of genitalia, menstruation, menstrual products, sex education for girls (that far too often is neglected by the parents), etc. We recommend books and other literature, show pads and tampons and give instructions on how to use them. We arrange workshops in bookstores or cafes. If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email to aehnelt@mail.teleconsult.de


I also would like to show you an advertisement that appeared right before World War II for Camelia pads, the first disposable pad in Germany. I've translated the text instead of reproducing it:

(Text of the ad follows)

Is housework really only "child's play?

No, certainly not. Science found out that, for example, when ironing, a woman consumes as much power as if she were carrying 26 kilograms. This doesn't matter to the woman pictured here even in the worst days of the month. You can see how cheerful she looks! Just the type that manages her life always with a smile on her lips.

Don't you want to be as powerful, and fresh and bouncy and never suffer from the critical days?!

Get help from the modern Camelia hygiene, because Camelia protects you from all unnecessary troubles. Camelia, the ideal reform sanitary pad, preserves your working power, your freshness and your good mood. Because of their great absorbency, the numerous layers of finest Camelia cotton wool (cellulose) give you the feeling of utmost safety and enable discreet disposal, whereas the unique Camelia belt supplies trouble-free wear.

See another, earlier Camelia ad (at the bottom of that page).

Read the second A Note from Germany

Read Habiger's essay on menstruation in ancient Egypt


first page | contact the museum | art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | belts | bidets | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books (and reviews) | cats | company booklets directory | costumes | cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | famous people | FAQ | humor | huts | links | media | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | religion | menstrual products safety | science | shame | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour (video) | underpants directory | videos, films directory | washable pads

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 hfinley@mum.org