Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
NEWS | homepage | MUM address & What does MUM mean? | e-mail the museum | privacy on this site | who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! | the art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | asbestos | belts | bidets | founder bio | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) | cats | company booklets for girls (mostly) directory | contraception and religion | costumes | menstrual cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | facts-of-life booklets for girls | famous women in menstrual hygiene ads | FAQ | founder/director biography | gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux | humor | huts | links | masturbation | media coverage of MUM | menarche booklets for girls and parents | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | olor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | puberty booklets for girls and parents | religion | Religión y menstruación | your remedies for menstrual discomfort | menstrual products safety | science | Seguridad de productos para la menstruación | shame | slapping, menstrual | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour of the former museum (video) | underpants & panties directory | videos, films directory | Words and expressions about menstruation | Would you stop menstruating if you could? | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads

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 ads

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 to
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 Kotex plant.

I'm back!

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 ago.
I'll start answering the heap of e-mail in my inbox and will update this site on Thursday, 7 June.


"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."
Also: comments about the origin of "Guests come to visit" in Russian

New Humor!
New contribution to Would you stop menstruating if you could?

New, upbeat Letter to your MUM

A stock certificate for the Tassette, Inc. menstrual cup right before it failed. Stock fraud!

Boyfriends promote Kotex in a series of Dutch ads

New contributions to Would you stop menstruating if you could?
And read
US approves birth control pill that blocks menstruation in New scientist online.

More contributions to Words and expressions about menstruation:
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. (http://education.vetmed.vt.edu/Curriculum/VM8054/Labs/Lab28/NOTES/OSLER.HTM)"
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, ****
From Australia:
"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 anti-English/anti-establishment sentiments. '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. Kind regards.

A brave man outs himself in 1978 - and in a Dutch ad, of course!

New humor.

"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 featured.

Scandinavia vs the U.S.A.

Would you stop menstruating if you could?
"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." MORE.

Letters to your MUM:

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!

Kotex Security Tampons: Not for sensitive labia

Bus stops & telephone booths in Europe carry pantypad ads!

Please inform 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 America.
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 Female Organs."
 Sign the "Say No Till You Know" petition: http://hersfoundation.org/anatomy/

Tampons and sanitary napkins have cooties!
Researchers at Duke University prove it!

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 Russia:
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 but 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." Read more.

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 cushion." MORE.

"You're a young lady now"
Menarche booklet for girls, 1959

Belgian student discovers what her grandmothers used and needs more information on menstrual suspenders (not suspension of menstruation, a topic du jour, here)

Hello, Harry,
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 different era.
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 for menstruation.]
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.]
Kim ****

The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research holds its biennial
(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 ago.

The Art of Menstruation: Jennifer Weigel
The Art of Menstruation: Lana Leicht

"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, Germany.

(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 and 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 you stop menstruating if you could?

An American washable pad from ?

Cutting to the chase:
The real reason I started this museum

Why is this man smiling?
Because women can be Nana and menstruating too!

White + menstruation = Red? Not for
these products.

"Kotex" to help Kenyans out of poverty

Multi-Pulitzer Prize 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 napkins.

"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.

New contributions to Words and expressions about menstruation from Mexico:

"Regla (translated 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 contribution

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?

Dear Sir/Madam,

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 http://www.aboutheavyperiods.com.

Thank you for your consideration.

Thank You,

Jon Holato

Wix, goodbye
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 pantiliners

Freedom! Nudity! French and German ads, 1970s

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 menstruation." More.

Can light shorten your menstrual periods? An emailer writes,
" Prolactin, LH, and FSH were significantly increased with bright light exposure for 45 minutes each morning, and the menstrual cycle shortened." Read the study.

Artist Judy 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.

menstrual sponge

It's really not a bag but those funny Danes! Pad ad, 1970s.

Fibs ads, 1938-1959. I named one of my cats Fibs in honor of this 'pon.

A 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.

New Brazilian contributions to Words and expressions about menstruation.
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= rules"
New American contributions to Words and expressions about menstruation.
"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, Florida"

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." Read more.

Speaking of menstrual art:

"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 website is  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:

"www.succubusarts.com/images/orangeblack_abstract.jpg  or www.succubusarts.com/images/bloodogham.jpg  

"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.

Gregory Scaff"

And photography:

"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 of menstruation.

"A sample of my photos are shown on:

"www.glamourgirls.com.au. My web site is: www.artofwoman.com.au

"Contact me if you need more information.

Margaret Kalm"

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 visiting: http://www.projectpcos.org"


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 Danielle Steel."

from a review by Ian Buruma of "Infidel," 4 Mar 2007, in the New York Times

More American Words and expressions about menstruation
(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

Dutch contributions to Words and 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 all."

"Little Doozy" after-the-party douche

Due to prohibition, Brazilian women don't have access to modern medicinal abortion" by Dr. Nelson Soucasaux

"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, 2006

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 old"

What better way to say
"Will you be my Valentine?"
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, 19, Nevada"
Read 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 you stop menstruating if you could?

"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 man.]

New tampon in Australia

"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 washable pads. But read my despised theory of what the majority of women wore - or didn't wear.]

Comments about translating Czech words for menstruation.

German Carefree pantiliner ads for girls starting puberty

Stayfree ads and Cathy Rigby radio spot.
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.

Hot news!
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 in NewsDaily.

Um, actually, it's farther down, Ma'am.
Lysol ad, 1934

"God, just no more ANYTHING that has to do with blood!" [More]
"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 article about 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 decades.

Listen to 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 article.

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 moon, 
**** (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 & 1953

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 expression 'Teekesselchen,' 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 Hamburg, Germany)"

"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 time 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 and expressions about menstruation]

New suggestion in Remedies for Menstrual Problems

"[Y]our site and museum are utterly fascinating"

"Mr. Finley,

"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.

"Best regards,"

Words and 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 usable again!"

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 your site.

"You left out 'wounded.' It is decidedly American. Cheers,"

Read more Words and expressions about menstruation

"[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 about advertising for 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 recently?
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
"Educational Material on Menstruation
Furnished by the Makers of Tampax
" (1966)

So this guy walks into a store to buy tampons and comes out with a . . . (More


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 typos? (A reader solves the problem.)

"I was born to be a reptile . . . ."
(Read what else she - and others - write about stopping menstruation.)

"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)

Growing up and liking it (1964), puberty booklet for girls How teachers enlightened girls about menstruation in 1968. (Yes, it's the same girl.)

Sears once sold its own tampons!

And so did Penney's!

From South Africa, Words and 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 and expressions about menstruation:
Red fairy
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 'phew' In other words, thank whomever that I am not pregnant. I have enough kids!" (Read more words.)

Old ads for non-menstrual suspenders.

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 smirking? "Menstrual 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 periods." (continued)

Puberty booklet, 1963: Growing Up and Liking It

"Inside Britney's Underpants" by Joal Ryan
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 and expressions about menstruation:
Underwear time
"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.

Two writers contribute their stories to
Would you stop menstruating if you could?

"The 28 Day Year"
Poem by Dr. Betz King

Finally, a friend sent this:

"Jesus 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 menstruation.)

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 Gettysburg Address.

Ad for very early menstrual cup

Additions to menstrual pad disposal bags

They're borated and you would have been too!


Same strange tampon in two different boxes.



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