read the second A Note from Germany
- see another Camelia ad
A Note from Germany
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
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
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
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).
news | 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 | LIST
OF ALL TOPICS
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