Kotex ad emphasizing shame, 1992
See Kotex items: First ad (1921)
- ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Lee Miller ads (first real person in a menstrual
hygiene ad, 1928) - Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday
(booklet for girls, 1928, Australian edition; there are many links here
to Kotex items) - Preparing for Womanhood (1920s,
booklet for girls; Australian edition) - 1920s booklet in Spanish showing
disposal method - box
from about 1969 - "Are you in the know?"
ads (Kotex) (1949)(1953)(1964)(booklet, 1956) -
See more ads on the Ads for Teenagers main page
Early interesting letters to the Museum of Menstruation and Women's
Health when it was in my house
Someone sent this letter to MUM from Cheyenne,
Wyoming; I reduced the margins to save space. There are also some
quotes from other letters elsewhere.
Megan Rosenfeld, who wrote a story about
MUM for the Washington Post (15 April 1995),
received the unsigned letter below at her office
soon afterward and forwarded it to the MUM director. (See also how the Post
investigated the director of MUM.)
What she suggests is actually a good
idea, but it's been done before! See the last item on this page.
Is "sexism" the actual point
of her letter (I assume the writer is a woman)? Compare "put
women down" in the first letter.
Giles S. Rich, retired
judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit,
here in Washington, D. C., left a message on my (MUM director Finley's)
answering machine soon after the Post article (above), saying he wanted
to tell me something I might be interested in. I was terrified! Now
I KNEW the Museum of Menstruation was illegal, and he was kindly
warning me that the police would soon be breaking down my door!
Here's part of his letter to me a couple
of weeks later:
Relax. You are not
breaking any law that I know of.
The Post article intrigued me because I have
written on the subject matter dealt with by your MUM museum as you will
see from the enclosed opinion of October 9, 1984 [concerning Kimberly-Clark,
the maker of Kotex, and another company]. Judges have to be prepared to
deal with any subject, no matter how many people may feel squeamish about
it. After all, sentiments change. Consider how Surg. Gen. Koop changed
. . .
Museums come in all types. I recall that in Paisley,
England, I ran into a museum on the history of the flush toilet or "water
closet." Perhaps you should exchange privileges. Carry on!
The vast majority of letters and e-mail to MUM are positive,
by the way. See some TV & online and other media
that have mentioned or discussed this museum. See ads
for menarche-education booklets: Marjorie
May's Twelfth Birthday (Kotex, 1933), Tampax tampons
(1970, with Susan Dey), Personal Products (1955,
with Carol Lynley), and German o.b. tampons (lower
See also the booklets How
shall I tell my daughter? (Modess, various dates), Growing
up and liking it (Modess, various dates), and Marjorie
May's Twelfth Birthday (Kotex, 1928).
And read Lynn Peril's series about these and
See another ad for As One Girl to Another (1942),
and the booklet itself.
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce
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