Readers' comments about the Lunette, The Keeper
& Diva menstrual cups.
Several wars ago:
3 Kotex ads sell pads to kids during World War II
Two American menarche
Two ads for "sanitary
panties" from the U.K. and U.S.A.
Three American ads for menstrual pad belts
New phrase in Words and expressions about menstruation:
"Tammy Time - referring to tampons,
obviously." From U.S.A., Atlanta, Georgia"
3 new contributions
Would you stop menstruating if you could?
English writer: Her French cousin
used a for a menstrual pad a hotel towel.
Ad for a native Dutch
brand menstrual pad, 1967
Early newspaper ads
for menstrual pads, including Kotex, and an early
article about a new
I got over my flu a week ago and was
updating this MUM site when
rattled me and the cats, who ran as if the
biggest dog in the world were chasing them.
The top of a tall truck had ripped the
telephone line from my house. I called the
cops, who called the fire department, who c-u-t
the line, saying it was a traffic
hazard. It took one week - one week - for
the phone company to mosey on over and put
up a new connection, just a couple hours
I'll start answering the heap of e-mail in
my inbox and will update this site on
Thursday, 7 June.
A PERIOD PIECE
"Refreshing Film for Preteens"
Read more about
its release in June
New Words and expressions about menstruation
Paulette "I was just on
your site and it is very interesting to see
how many women from various cultures
describe their periods as 'Auntie.' My best
friend and I have always used this term, but
in college, one of my floor-mates in the
dorms called it 'Paulette' as in
'Paulette showed up today' or 'Paulette's
here.' This caught on and in our circle
expanded to 'Paulette's here throwing her
luggage/ banging stuff around, etc.' to mean
'My period's here - with cramps.' Just
thought I'd share. Great web museum. My
friends and I are Black/African-American and
that was about ten years ago in college."
comments about the origin of "Guests come
to visit" in Russian
New contribution to Would
if you could?
New, upbeat Letter to your MUM
A stock certificate
for the Tassette, Inc. menstrual cup right
before it failed. Stock fraud!
promote Kotex in a series of Dutch ads
New contributions to Would you stop menstruating if you could?
And read US
birth control pill that blocks
menstruation in New scientist
"The great Canadian-American
physician Sir William Osler (1849-1919) once
referred to the menstrual flow as "... the tears of a
disappointed uterus." I
guess the sole purpose of a uterus is to
produce a full term baby, and menstruation
shows a failure to make her goal.
From Hong Kong, China:
"In Hong Kong (in Cantonese), women have
called menstruation "mother's eldest sister"
or "auntie" colloquially. Pads are called
"mother's eldest sister napkins." Regards,
"Hi. What a great site! Keep up the good
work! What my friends and I in Australia
have called menstruation: 'The red coats are
coming' or 'The English are coming' which I
suppose reflects old colonial
'The communists have invaded' is in a pretty
similar vein I suppose. 'I feel like a bowl
of soup' - referring to the bloated fluid
retention feeling often associated with it
(kinda goopy!), AND because you often feel
like your comfort foods (for me it's often
warm soup) 'Aunt Rose' - pretty obvious
'having an earache' - why else can't you
swim!?!? 'Out-of-date baby batter'- for the
actual blood and tissue. Yup. Hope these
bring a smile to someone's face. Giggle.
A brave man outs himself in 1978 -
and in a Dutch ad,
"I am with everyone else who loves your
site. We all sat around and laughed
uproariously! I'll throw in my wife's
euphemism for menstruation. She says, "I sat on a tomato."
During her heaviest time that's how she
described the feeling of it to me, a guy,
who can't understand how uncomfortable this
time of the month can be for a woman. Of
course it's also color appropriate." Read more Words and expressions about menstruation
Read more about - and
order! - the book 100
Places Every Woman Should Go, in which this museum is
"I'm sure that if men
had to deal with something so undesirable
for just 3 months, then there would
definitely be a miracle pill to stop this
madness immediately!" MORE.
"If you are unhappy
with the products you use then you should
look into the many other options out there."
Poll: "Would you try a cup
similar to the Instead menstrual cup if there
was a way to prevent the messy removal?"
(See the PowerPoint presentation)
No tax on tampons!
Tampons: Not for sensitive labia
visitors to your wonderful museum the
following. Thanks so much:
Can you imagine a country where sex
organs are removed from 622,000 mothers,
daughters, sisters, and friends each year?
That country is not in Africa or Asia or
South America. It's the United States of
Join hundreds of thousands of women and
men by signing a petition to make sure
that every woman who is told she needs
surgery to remove her female organs is
provided with the HERS Foundation's video
"Female Anatomy: the Functions of the
Tampons and sanitary napkins have cooties!
Researchers at Duke University prove
Menarche booklet "Accent
on you" by Tampax. Yes, you can swim
with Tampax but I hope you could already
before you do. (Just a [little] joke.)
Words and expressions about menstruation - from
Menstryak "My sister calls
it Menstryak (it is Russian). It is funny
because it's got a Yak in the end, and
Menstr explains everything. Words ending
with -yak are sort of used to be criminal jargon before
now have gained a common acceptance. So yak
is being added in the end, and it doesn't
carry any special meaning, sort of like ie
in thingies. And yes, we are both Russian."
Would you stop menstruating if you could?
"As much as I dislike going through mine, I
would rather keep it, than suffer some
unknown health issues women
wanting to cease their cycles may face." MORE.
"And it's kind of disgusting, but I kind of
like wearing pads during the school day or
whatever. It's kind of squishy and it's
actually a little bit comfy, like a little
Belgian student discovers what her
grandmothers used and needs more information
suspenders (not suspension of
menstruation, a topic du jour, here)
I'm a Belgian
student in the last year of Modern
History who is writing her final paper
(thesis) about the experience of
menstruation of the oldest generation in
Flanders. I have interviewed 15 women. In my
paper I talk about the knowledge of
menstruation from the Romans and Greeks to
this day, about how much/many women knew
about it, about the shame to talk about it,
about the universal menstruation taboo(s),
about the church and its vision on
menstruation, about the hygiene, about the
advertisements and about the history of the
menstrual products. I had never had any idea
that my grandparents lived in such a
During my investigation, I
accidentally found out about your museum and
website. It is really amazing what an amount
of interesting information you have
gathered. Although your site is a bit
difficult to navigate through [it's gotten
out of control!], I found some
interesting things I hadn't found in
books and libraries. I didn't know about the
suspenders women could wear over their
crotchless underpants. I wonder if these
were worn by lots of women? I
can imagine that the advertisements
only appear in publications that were only
been read by the high society. I can
also imagine that this new invention
was quite expensive. I
also think women of the lower classes
preferred just letting drip their
menstrual blood instead of wearing such
suspenders: it doesn't seem to
be handy for women who were working
on the land, or in factories, or at home.
[Yes! She entertains the idea that many
women, at least in Europe, used nothing special
Do you have any idea if these
suspenders were popular with a large group
of women? And if they were manufactured or
sold outside the States? [I don't but if any
readers out there know, please e-mail.]
Too bad that you live in the
States. I'd like to see your museum and help
you out with my results and with the more
historical background that I'm investigating
at the moment. [Alas, the museum - see it - closed
in 1998. Read about my idea for the future MUM. But I've
offered to put what she finds on this site.]
The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research
holds its biennial
BASH (aka conference) in Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada, June 7-9. More
info at http://menstruationresearch.org/about/upcoming-conference/#c15
Read my breathless
report about the conference 10 years
"Jewish Bath Found in Erfurt [Germany]"
The online version of the German news
magazine Der Spiegel reports
(in German) that
"In an old cellar in Erfurt archaeologists
have made an unusual find: a mikva, a place
for ritual bathing for the Jewish community.
The bath is from the Middle Ages and
possibly more than 1000 years old. . . . The
mikva was the place for the ritual cleaning
of tableware. But also the women of the
community had to use it: after menstruation,
before their wedding and after giving birth
they had to undergo a symbolic cleansing
before they could enter the synagogue again.
Before that they were regarded as unclean."
See an old mikva in Friedberg,
(photo from spiegel.de)
Female civil servants in India must reveal
information about their menstrual periods
and the date of their last one. "Presumably
this information is relevant because their
primary civil function is to participate in
time-sensitive focus groups to evaluate pads
and tampons for free distribution," writes
Carol Lloyd in Salon.com. They're mad!
Read more about educating rural Indians
about menstruation here
"What I noticed was that American women are
extremely conscious about their body and
easily embarrassed by the most natural
things. American women couldn't even
imagine not shaving their
armpits." A German woman explains why
stopping menstruation sounds verrrry
American to her. Read Would
An American washable
pad from ?
Cutting to the chase:
The real reason I started this museum
Why is this man
Because women can be Nana
and menstruating too!
White + menstruation = Red? Not for these products.
"Kotex" to help
Kenyans out of poverty
winner New York Times columnist Thomas
Friedman today tells how:
Naisiae Tobiko is a
28-year-old dynamo who grew up in Kenya's
Masai region. She runs a public relations
firm, but when we met all she wanted to
talk about was Kenya's shortage of
sanitary napkins for girls. Here's why,
she explained: Her family could afford to
send her to school, where she thrived. As
she got older, though, she started to
notice something about the less well-off
girls - they missed four days of class
every month, "and I could not understand
why." When she finally asked, they
confided that they did not come to school
when they were menstruating - because
their parents could not afford sanitary
"They would say, 'How can I
come to a place when I am bleeding?' " she
recalled. "Some were using rags or soil or
mud." Because of those lost school days,
many eventually dropped out. So Ms. Tobiko
recently teamed up with the Girl Child
Network and other N.G.O.s here and started
a project in the countryside to distribute
free sanitary napkins. They have targeted
500,000 girls, and so far have reached
189,000. More school days means more
educated women and better mothers. [If you
are Times Select member you can read the
whole article here.]
See how an activist in
India is helping
girls make their own washable pads -
and see how poor women in another part of
India learn to make a washable pad rather
than sit in a cow
shed when they're menstruating.
to Words and
expressions about menstruation from
Rule) basically is a rule that you will have
it every month, something constant. We'll
say something like 'I'm
on my regla.' Comadre (kind of
similar to the 'Aunt' reference in English)
is like your companion, very close to you.
In Spanish a comadre is someone who is
related to you because they are the
godmother of one of your sons/daughters, so
is a very close and special person, many
times a relative, that you should respect.
We'll say something like 'My comadre came to visit.'
I'm a female, Mexican, living in the U.S.
and I'm 22, a college student."
Would you stop menstruating if you could?
"I am done with having kids. I am
ready to be done with having periods. . . .
I have been asking how I can speed up the
menopause process just so I can stop this
monthly cycle." This
letter continued and another new
A funny story in humor:
"I got my first period during a summer
spent in France. [continued]"
Christianity and menstruation
I've enjoyed your MUM site for
a long time. Your page on Religion and
Menstruation doesn't have much about
Christianity, so I thought you might find
this page interesting:
It shows that early
Christianity didn't believe that
menstruation was evil or unclean.
Thanks again for your site!
Do you bleed and bleed and bleed?
In the process of researching
websites related to menorrhagia and its
treatment options, we visited your website.
As your website provides vast information on
menorrhagia-related topics, we ask that you
please consider adding a link to our website
Thank you for your
Another MUM auxiliary
staff member has died, killed along
with a stray and thrown into my yard. Wix,
named after an early
tampon, was a huge, goofy tomcat from
my oldest litter. He never meowed, just
gurgled and only when he was happy. In his
eight years he and his sister Fibs (another
early tampon) would
not allow me to touch them, and five years
ago I spent a morning chasing him with the
vet's net to let her inspect his urinary
infection. Well, I lied about the meowing:
after he had his penis removed to prevent
another infection he meowed for a week while
confined in a spare room recuperating. I
would have too. Then his silence resumed,
and today it is deafening.
Named women say why they use New Freedom and LightDays
Freedom! Nudity! French and German ads,
New Art of Menstruation: Jelena, from Serbia
Would you stop menstruating if you could?
"I even asked the vet if I could
be spayed along with the cat. He just
laughed. He thought I was kidding. [More]"
New words in Words and expressions about menstruation:
"I am American and was raised
Muslim and since women are not allowed to
pray or fast during their periods we would
always say that 'I
am not praying' to indicate
shorten your menstrual periods? An
" Prolactin, LH, and FSH were significantly
increased with bright
light exposure for 45 minutes each
morning, and the menstrual cycle
shortened." Read the study.
Chicago - she donated one of
her famous prints
to this museum - is central to the feminist
art exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, says a New
York Times story (with pictures); no
mention of menstruation. The Times writer, a
woman, seems disappointed with the show.
It's really not a bag but those funny Danes!
Pad ad, 1970s.
1938-1959. I named one of my cats Fibs in honor of
concerned e-mailer writes:
"Painting w/ blood and then drinking it is
sick [here]. Why
do you promote such barbaric things? As you
know, Jewish people should not have the
blood of an animal so it is also
anti-Semitic." I wrote her [him?] that this
is a museum; I'm not promoting anything.
Some people even object to the very
existence of this museum. MUM just documents
a human phenomenon.
contributions to Words
"My name is Eliana and I live in
the south of Brazil. Here are some
expressions I know: Lua vermelha =
red moon, Naqueles dias = in that
days, Visita= visitor, Chegaram
meus primos de Lagoa Vermelha = My
cousins of Red Lake arrived (in the state of
Rio Grande do Sul there exists a city with
that name, so I believe that's an expression
usend only in that state). Regras=
contributions to Words
"My fiance calls it 'the monster'
and it really fits since it's almost like me
going from Dr. Jekyll to Ms. Hyde on that
time of the month. I usually like to refer
to getting my period as 'getting my
monthly subscription in the mail,'
especially when we're having girl talks and
we don't want the guys to know what we're
really talking about. **** Ft. Lauderdale,
Would you stop menstruating if you could? She wouldn't and
is waiting to "become one of those
older wiser women one hears so much about."
Speaking of menstrual
"Greetings Mr. Finley,
"I am an artist who has
incoporated menstrual blood into my work for
a number of years now. My artwork has
been shown in galleries and shows on the
east coast for almost two
decades. If you would be
interested, I would be honored to
donate a painting to your museum. I
understand your current space restrictions,
that the museum is online at present, and
that you may not wish such a donation.
"If you'd like to look, my
www.succubusarts.com. My Abstract
Expressionist gallery - the one with
menstrual blood art - is called the Milky
Way. A link to several such pieces is:
"Additionally, I'm currently
working on other menstrual blood pieces. I'm
impressed by your labors in founding the
Mum, and wish you well in locating a
future physical site.
"Dear Harry Finley,
"Your menstruation web site is
fascinating! You certainly have an amazing
collection. These objects have been (and in
many places still are) hidden. The religious
and philosophical aspects are fascinating
also. Keep up the good work.
"I am a photographer in
Canberra, Australia. I am interested in how
women's bodies are depicted, especially
because menstruation is so hidden. My
photography explores some of the symbology
"A sample of my photos are
My web site is: www.artofwoman.com.au
"Contact me if you need more
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Web site
"On February 1, Project PCOS
unveiled a brand new website and campaign
designed to bring PCOS (Polycystic Ovary
Syndrome) education, support and resources
to the PCOS patient professionals treating
PCOS and the public.
"You may review our site by
Tampon for watching
TV? In Italy? Don't be silly.
This museum is one of
100 Places Every
Woman Should Go
book by Stephanie Griest (Travelers' Tales,
Palo Alto, California, 2007 - buy),
which just appeared. See
more publications, radio, TV, etc.,
that have discussed MUM.
Did its gluey
tampons kill Pursettes?
Is this action, below, similar to the menstrual slap?
"The underlying theme of this
remarkable tale [Infidel by Hirsi
Ali] is sexual repression and gradual
liberation. Not only was an uncircumcised
woman treated as a demon in her clannish
society, but Hirsi
Ali was called 'filthy prostitute' by her
own mother when she had her first period.
She was tortured by guilt when she
was kissed for the first time by a Kenyan
boy. Even in the Netherlands, she still felt
disgusted by Ethiopian girls because they
revealed their legs. But finally she
rebelled against the duty of Muslim women to
submit to Allah, and to their fathers,
brothers and husbands. Hirsi Ali feels that
she was set free, sexually, socially,
intellectually, by the West, starting with
from a review
by Ian Buruma of "Infidel," 4 Mar 2007, in
the New York Times
More American Words
(The male contributor didn't say if these
were actually used): High tide,
The tide has rolled in, The Girly Girl
thing, Devil days, The devil's work, The
week of the devil, Muddy waters.
Kotex featherweight belt
in a tube
contributions to Words
expressions about menstruation:
"I've called it two different
things: 1) 'I got a visit to the red light
district.' I'm Dutch, and well, sometimes me
and my family joke on if we go to Holland to
visit family well, make a trip to the red
light district, but not really. 2) 'Give me
two things: chocolate and space' says it
"Little Doozy" after-the-party
Due to prohibition,
Brazilian women don't have access to
modern medicinal abortion" by Dr.
"The Jewish Tradition
of Slapping Our Daughters at Their First
Period" by Caren Appel-Slingbaum now
translated into Spanish by María García:
"La Tradición [Judía]
de Abofetear a Nuestras Hijas"
traducido por María García
E-mail: "Having only
recently read the article,
by Caren Appel-Slingbaum, about the slapping of Jewish girls
by their mothers upon menstruating for the
first time, I would just like to
add that this was done to me by my mother.
My mother, who is of Polish origin, told me
that she did this because she never wanted
me to lose color in my face (ie. never be
pale). Presumably, the slapping process
retains a healthy color on our
faces. My mother's handprint on my face
cheek disappeared rather quickly, and I am
still always pale. Thank goodness for blush
make-up. And so much for this
tradition which I am happy to report ends
with me as I will not do likewise to my
daughter! Great article."
Playtex Sport tampon,
Dragging your mother into 1929 - for Modess!
More Words and
expressions about menstruation:
"Menstruating and sex: Relating to the
euphemism that having sex is 'going for a
ride' I tell my spouse that: 'I'm closed for
renovations,' or 'I'm closed for
maintenance.' When I have
cramps, 'my uterus
is angry.' My mom, who was
very shy about this stuff, would ask my
sister and I if we needed any 'supplies'
before she left for the grocery store when
we were kids. My brother totally figured it
out despite her efforts. Michigan, 26 years
What better way to say
"Will you be my
than with a Tiffany glass bowl?!
She'll cry, "You shouldn't have!" especially . . .
"I am a female and amongst my
female friends we always say we have
'the curse of TOM.' TOM is short for
time of month. I am Caucasian,
hundreds - thousands? - more Words and expressions about menstruation from
around the world!
I located Englishwoman Brina Katz, whose art work the
Jewish Museum in Vienna, Austria, wants to
show. Congratulations, Brina!
White pants with German Stayfree and Camelia pads?
Listen to MUM director Harry
Finley (yours truly) talk
about his goals for the future museum, why
he opened the museum in his house, and how
in the world he got interested in
menstruation. The Keeper menstrual cup site
offered the time and space for him to talk.
And, yes, he praised menstrual cups to a
Seventeen magazine reporter at the opening of the museum
in 1994 and recently accepted one of the new
Keepers for MUM.
"I have always believed that woman are
'higher beings' in some ways because we
have children and get
to wear divine dresses!!"
Two new opinions for Would
"Harry, Link below is to another (TV) ad that
features a man - and also
humour and 'penis references'. :-) It is
currently showing on Australian TV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBOBg9tZgUw
[I can't get the ad - maybe you'll have
better luck. See a French pad ad with just a
New tampon in
"What an interesting website. You may have
heard of this, but my Mom, who was born in
1908, told me when she needed "sanitary
protection," commercial pads were way too
expensive so the women of the family used
literally rags which they washed and
reused! :(" [Yup, but see some fancier
But read my despised
theory of what the majority of women
wore - or didn't wear.]
Comments about translating
pantiliner ads for girls starting
Stayfree ads and
Cathy Rigby radio
Rely tampon ads and
three radio spots.
"I am sure that you have heard
this one before, but when I was about 16 or
so, if someone had their period and didn't
want to join in an activity or whatever with
us, we would say, "Oh,
I'm sorry, I have a visitor this week,
my Aunt FLOW is here!" and
the rest of us would know right away why. It
was a nicer way of saying it. Instead of "I
got pms," plus the boys didn't know what the
heck we were talkin about! Love your site,
D in Germany." Read more Words and expressions about menstruation.
Calcium pills stop menstrual
discomfort for writer and others.
"Fluctuations in hormones during women's
menstrual cycles affect how their brains
respond to rewards, the National Institutes of
Health in Bethesda, Md., said." Read a summary
Um, actually, it's farther down, Ma'am.
Lysol ad, 1934
just no more ANYTHING that has to do with
"Even with all
this, I always welcome my period, it feels
like such a cleanse every month. Plus
it sure makes me appreciate being
pain-free and mobile again when it's all
over." [More in Would you stop menstruating if you could? and Your Remedies]
Calling Brina Katz
of Cumbria, England!
The curator of the Jewish
Museum of Vienna, Austria, wants to
use your art "Lillith's
Cave" in an exhibit at that museum.
Please e-mail me! I've
lost your address.
Marie Claire magazine (Italian edition)
featured several of the MUM artists in an
this museum and menstruation in 2003. The
newspaper Corriere della Sera (Io Donna
magazine) (Milan, Italy) and the magazine
Dishy (Turkey) showed some of the artists
in 2005 in articles about this museum. TV, radio and print have
reported on MUM.
I finally located her and she and the
museum are in touch.
Charm-party on! for Dainty Maid
douches and menstrual cups! Personal
ads from four
Procter & Gamble tell radio listeners in
1980 not to use Rely tampons because of the
danger of toxic
shock syndrome (TSS).
"Menstrual mood swings may
have a use after all: Monthly mood
swings experienced by many women may serve
an evolutionary purpose by helping to get
them pregnant." Read a report
in New Scientist online of the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences
E-mail entitled "Menstruation as metaphor
for social discomfort? (A rating system)"
Dear Mr. Finley,
I was reminded of this when
reading the unkind
comment sent in by a reader
[actually a staff writer] of Sassy
magazine regarding MUM. ["Stick to jock itch
products, buddy." See more in the
column at left. See more about media coverage of MUM.]
Sassy was my favorite magazine
when I was a teenager and it used to run a
column on embarrassing incidents that
readers would send in, rating the severity
of the embarrassment in period terms. I
thought these were incredibly funny and was
sad when editorial changes at the magazine
did away with the ratings (about this time I
also tried to do away with my subscription).
The most terrible of incidents were rated
"Prostrate atop a crimson tide," the least
severe or simply amusing ones were rated
something to the effect of "Fertile and
in cycles with the moon" Ahhh, reminds
me of the early '90s.
Fertile and in cycles with the
**** (Pasadena, California)
[I got my revenge when the
magazine disappeared! Ha, ha, ha, ha! But it
was a good read.]
No one will know you're menstruating!
Ads, 1930 &
Kotex meant not
washing your menstrual pads, 1922
New Words and
expressions about menstruation:
"In Croatia, the word
'menstruation' is pretty much obsolete in
everyday language. Everybody just calls it 'things.'
As in: 'I have
things,' 'I still haven't gotten
my things.' I've never
understood why, though."
"Hi, I just found your website
and love it! My contribution for the German
section is 'Tante
Rosa kommt' (Aunt Rose is
coming), which would be the Germany
equivalent to Aunt Flo. I loathe such
euphemisms, but it is often used in everyday
speech. Oh, and one more thing: The first
entry in the German section uses the
which means 'little teapot.' It is an
expression used for two words that are
literally the same but have different
meanings, such as 'ball' (which can be a
spherical object used for games or a dancing
event). 'Teekesselchen' is a children´s game
where two children each try to describe
their word, always starting with the same
figure of speech: 'Mein Teekesselchen ist
rund.' ('My teapot is round' - in this case
meaning the ball as a sports utensil) The
other one then would say: 'Mein
Teekesselchen findet meist abends statt.'
('My teapot often talks place at night' -
meaning the ball as a dancing event). The
other children have to guess what the word
is. The contributor referred to the word
'Auslaufmodell' as a Teekesselchen, because
'auslaufen' can mean 'to flow' or 'be
discontinued.' I don't think she referred to
an actual teapot. Cheers, **** (35, from
"I'm 29 and from Texas and we,
too, used 'George'
as the term in high school. I usually just
refer to it as 'that
of the month.' I used to see
a guy who used to call it 'a bloody waste of
fucking time.' He was 36 and
from South Africa and Great Britain.
****, DVM." [More Words
New suggestion in Remedies for
"[Y]our site and museum are utterly
"Once in a while, I find a web
site that makes this whole crazy thing
called the Internet worthwhile, and yours is
one of those sites. Unfortunately, there are
dozens and dozens of worthless sites for
every one like yours.
"In any case, your site and
museum are utterly fascinating, and the
topic of menstruation is worthy of being
studied. Don't let the naysayers discourage
you. Thank you.
expressions about menstruation:
"These are both from Northern
Ireland: On the
blob: a male friend used this when
he lived with me (because it blobs out,
basically). Up on
blocks: Useless old cars without
wheels are propped up on blocks in
driveways. Some men
think women on their period are not fit
for their primary purpose (sex), and are
therefore 'up on blocks' awaiting becoming
"When my mom was in college
in the 70s in Minnesota, her roommate used
the term 'push-ups'
for tampons. To me, it's reminiscent of
orange sherbet popsicles, and a diplomatic
way to make a supplies request. Love
"You left out 'wounded.'
It is decidedly American. Cheers,"
Read more Words and
"[A] parable of
menstruation, a bizarre gothic fable of a
young woman's maturation into womanhood."
"You may be interested in the 1970 Czech film
'Valerie and Her Week of Wonders' (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066516/)
which takes place during the week of a
13-year-old girl's first period. It involves
vampires, but, um, you'd sort of have to see
it. Czech films are notoriously surreal.
Here's a good description of the film: http://notcoming.com/reviews.php?id=172
Did Tampax get its idea for its innovative
applicator from a Colorado
company that started before 1920?
"My daughter and I say 'In my moon'
when we have ours. When I was young, my
own mother and I called our periods 'Ethel.' I
was a big 'I Love Lucy' [television show]
fan back then and I guess that is where that
came from. [Ethel played on the show.]"
Read MORE Words and expressions about menstruation.
Read an interesting story on Slate.com
Playtex tampons and the menstrual
advertising industry in general. My heart skipped a beat
when I saw the two nice links at the end
to this very MUM site! See some British ads the
article doesn't mention - and you'd never
see such a thing in America!
Did you e-mail me
I was just reading e-mail with a Duke
University address - she asked about a Lysol ad - when ZAP! all mail
in the folder disappeared. There were more
letters I deleted. Please
e-mail me again if you e-mailed me in the
past couple days and I didn't respond!
The complete folder of
Furnished by the Makers of Tampax"
So this guy walks into a store to buy
tampons and comes out with a . . . (More here.)
"DON'T WEAKEN, MOTHER"
Modern daughters help repressed mothers in a
Modess ad, 1929
Why did efficiency expert Dr. Lillian
Gilbreth send a famous report about
menstruation to Johnson & Johnson with
"I was born to be
a reptile . . . ."
(Read what else
she - and others - write about stopping
"We're fairly certain that all of this
revolves around scent."
You can predict with a high degree of
certainty by histocompatibility if a woman
will cheat on a man, says a study in Psychological
Science (vol 17, p 830)
Sears once sold
its own tampons!
And so did Penney's!
From South Africa,
expressions about menstruation:
Granny came in a red Ferrari "Hi, there, I'm
19 years old, and currently live in South
Africa and have been suffering since I
was 11, but anyway .... My best friend and I
started round about the same time and we
were always depressed and of course in total
agony (and the only 2 chicks in our grade
who knew what it takes to be a 'woman')! My
friend being the wonderful person she is
came up with the phrase, 'Granny came in a
red Ferrari!' It always made me laugh and we
still use it to this day. If it came late
she'd say, 'Granny's stuck in traffic' = P
When Granny's Ferrari is at our house my dad
always looks at me and says, 'Sukke tyd?'
It's Afrikaans for 'That time of the month?'
I call pads 'those dreadful concoctions
of plastic and cotton!' And tampons are just
plain 'thingies' cuz you get the teeny tiny
ones that you can never find in your bag
when you need them! And honestly I would
skip the whole shlep if I could! *SIGH*
Regards, Granny's favorite grandchild."
Strange: there's another South African
phrase: "My aunt
parked her red Porsche outside." Read more Words and expressions about menstruation.
Puberty booklet Growing
up and Liking it, 1970
Contributions to Words
"I didn't see this one but then
I may have missed it. That is quite an
impressive collection! 'Red fairy'
(my friend in England uses it). I always say
In other words, thank whomever that I am not
pregnant. I have enough kids!" (Read more words.)
Old ads for non-menstrual
Ad for Violet Page: All you needed for douching in the
1920s & 30s - plus a sex information book for
women and MORE!
Why are these guys
pad" is in the answer.
She contributed to
Would you stop menstruating if you could?:
"First of all, as a registered
nurse, let me say that I think women should
be able to do whatever they want with their
Puberty booklet, 1963: Growing Up and Liking
"Inside Britney's Underpants" by Joal
Ms. Ryan asked me for a history of
underpants for her story
on E! Online
about Britney Spears' lack of same while
exiting a car last week. (See the MUM underpants history and
read more about the media and this museum.)
So it's apt that an e-mailer sent this
contribution to Words
"My husband has always affectionately called
my period 'Underwear Time' or U.T. because
that is the only time of the month that I
wear underwear to bed. Great website! I'm
from Canada by the way."
An American contributes
"In the Abyss"
"My husband has coined the phrase when I am
on my cycle, 'In the abyss.' (You
should look up the definition of the abyss
in dictionary.com. It's pretty fun and so
true.) On a side note he also usually
bon voyages me there because just before
that time I seem to be more
amorous. I wonder if this is true for
most women?" [Almost 100 years ago famous
Scottish doctor Marie Stopes showed on a chart
- bottom of page - that it was true
for many women.]
The writer's Iranian wife says
"Indians are visiting"
"I actually found your website because
I was googling for the origins of a 'code
word' my Persian (Iran) wife and her cousin
use. I didn't realize this 'coding' thing
was common either, but several others have
told their stories below, so here's another
'code': My wife and her cousin refer to
their periods as 'Indians are visiting' or
just 'Indians' - she says they picked this
up from watching bootleg American westerns
in Iran as kids. Scenes when the 'red
Indians' would usually be bloody! So in our
house it's 'Not tonight dear: Indians
again.' Thanks for the collection, it's
pretty hysterical (uh, that wasn't really
supposed to be a pun. [Hysterical comes from
the ancient Greek word for uterus.])
See also his
contribution to humor as well as another
guy's use for tampon tubes.
contribute their stories to
Would you stop menstruating if you could?
"The 28 Day Year"
Poem by Dr.
Finally, a friend sent this:
embraced the unclean ... even including
menstruating women! So said Garry
Wills today, being interviewed about his new
book, What Paul Meant, on NPR's Bob
Edwards' Weekend show. This fact must make
Jesus a very early 'bleeding-heart
liberal.'" (Read more about religion and
Years ago as a sophomore at
Johns Hopkins I took Dr. Wills's "Greek
Poetry" course, which was mostly ancient
Greek tragedy - he had a Ph.D. in Greek and
Latin. (My paper was on Greek scholar
Friederick Nietzsche's The Birth of
Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music - yes,
that Nietzsche.) Today Dr. Wills
covers the world and beyond in writing about
God - he's a fervent Catholic - and society.
He won the Pulitzer for a book about the
Ad for very early
Additions to menstrual pad disposal bags
and you would have been too!
tampon in two different boxes.