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 ad, 1970s)
And read Lynn Peril's series about these
and similar booklets!
See more Kotex items: First ad
(1921) - ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog)
- Lee Miller ads (first real person in amenstrual
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
MUM Lands Its First Board Member!
This museum is pleased to have acquired its first member
of the board, Philip M. Tierno, Jr., Ph.D., director of microbiology and immunology at the New York
University Medical Center, and associate professor in the New York University
Dr. Tierno is a leader in the independent
testing of menstrual hygiene products, and has published extensively. He
was instrumental in causing the menstrual hygiene companies to change the
composition of their products because of toxic shock. He has also tested
and written about menstrual cups.
He brings to the board scientific expertise, and deserves
the high regard of women everywhere!
The Museum of Menstruation is becoming a non-profit corporation,
and is searching for board members
to guide its future development.
The purpose of this museum is to create
exhibits and other information for the general public, and resources for
scholars, that show the place of menstruation and allied subjects in world
MUM at GirlCon '97
All-Girl Slumber Party" ("well, almost," says the publicity),
is happening at Wellesley College on April 11, 12 and 13.
"Because young women need networking
and solidarity, and a conference that isn't run by older liberal feminists
who don't share our concerns.
"We are looking for girls of all varieties to help
us organize this conference. We need girls to set up/speak on panels dealing
with issues that affect young women; female poets, artists, musicians, film-makers,
zine-writers, theater troupes, playwrights, etc., to display their work
and provide entertainment, and women to help organize and coordinate events
and publicize GirlCon."
MUM is proposing
to give a workshop about this museum at GirlCon, conducted by Miki Walsh. She
will also show the film Under
Wraps, the best film made about menstruation.
Contact ASAP the organizers by phone at (617) 283-4379, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or write: Wellesley
Women's Alliance for Action, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02181 (U.S.A.).
Send Your Menstruation Art to MUM!
As I reported last week,
an advertising agency in Vienna, Austria, wants to reproduce two pictures
in the Art of Menstruation collection in an article about menstruation directed
at Austrian doctors. The article deals with the taboos still rife in our
society, even among physicians, says Alexandra Fiedler, of Werkstudio.
She faxed that they want to see more pictures,
and have until early summer to make a final selection.
They will pay for a one-time use of the art work.
Send clear photos of your work, NOT the original art,
to the MUM P.O. Box on the first page.
New York Times to Write About Menstruation
New York Times science reporter Natalie Angier, who I think is the best science reporter in America,
e-mailed me recently for information for an article about menstruation she
is writing for that paper. Look for a well-written report with a smile in it, which makes me
miss her when I don't see her byline in the Science Times section of the
Anyone who read her article on scarab beetles several years ago will not
forget the masterpiece of juggling about what
scarabs do for a living, and where they do it. She
repeats this magic in every story.
I'll report more here when the article appears.
MUM, Call NANA!
Quickly now, what's
the only ad for menstrual hygiene to feature just a man, and a smiling one at
Those naughty French,
of course, at the company that makes NANA pads and tampons, conjured up
this bon vivant from the 1980s who still puzzles me, even though I read
French and a kindly Frenchman has interpreted it for me ("The more
women are cute [or nice], the more I love them"). French guys refer
to their girlfriends as being "nana," I am told by a male representative
of the company, who said the ad is "very good." He had not seen
Not that the French are so sophisticated that menstruation
doesn't faze them; on the contrary, says my first informant. But somehow
their approach is, well, so French!
As a former magazine art director, I find French magazines
in general to be the best designed
in the world; there are layouts in Elle (the French,
not the other editions) that are works of art, comparable to the best magazines
of 1910 - 1945 in America (and elsewhere). (There are Vanity Fair covers
from 75 years ago that knock your socks
off.) The only American magazine which seems seems to be returning to
the beautiful in its design is Harpers
Joie de vivre IS something French, and
it shows magnificently in the visual.
Anyway, back to NANA. Bas Jurriens in Belgium, who is
the interim Webmaster for NANA, e-mails that we can now see the NANA site - but watch it, it's in French and Dutch.
It also says on the first page that this site is "forbidden to men." This seems somehow
to contradict the spirit of the ad shown above; oh, well, it's those inscrutable
I want to remind you that you can also visit the Web site of Libresse menstrual pads, made
by SCA (formerly SABA) Mølnlycke, which is sponsoring the Norwegian exhibit about menstruation; bring your Norwegian
A Lesbian Replies to a Lesbian's Criticism
E-mail brought this nice message last week:
"Hi, I'm here on your wonderful Web site, reading
your blurb that a few copies of the last printed edition of Catamenia are
still available. I'd love to get a copy, if you still have some. My address
"By the way, you mentioned getting
criticism from a lesbian who seems to blame you for people's mocking
attitude toward menstruation. As a lesbian and a menstruating woman myself
(and a menstrual worker), I believe
this museum, and your willingness to put your time into de-mystifying menstruation,
are wonderful and absolutely needed in the world. It takes courage for anyone
to speak up about menstruation. Women and men will be criticized for doing
so, for different reasons. Yet both voices are needed. Speaking up is the
only way to change things. And the history of menstruation is too important
to lose. I'm glad you have been inspired to do the work you are doing.
Ellen Symons" (Eco Logique, Inc., Ottawa, Canada)
If you haven't yet done it, go outside before the sun
rises, about 5 a.m., face east, and raise your arm about 10°-15°
above the horizon, (like a Hitler salute - sorry for the analogy, but it
works). Look where that arm is pointing, and you'll be looking at a fuzzy
spot, brighter than most stars, but with a little tail. That's the comet
Hale-Bopp, which has assumed the names of the two discoverers, and which
is a startling sight.
As March progresses, it will get brighter, but so will the moon. Apparently
you will see it best toward the end of the month, in the evening, about
an hour after the sun goes down.
Isn't nature wonderful?
Period, by the Book
Generations of mothers and their daughters in America
and elsewhere have read booklets put out by the pad and tampon companies
(at left is one by Kimberly-Clark for Kotex, ©1968, revised 1981,
part of the MUM collection), by Planned Parenthood of America, and others.
They explain menstruation, sex and
other things that parents themselves are often too
shy to explain - or maybe don't understand.
Lynn Peril, who publishes
a fascinating publication called Mystery
Date, and a Web
site devoted to it, talks about these publications and related matters
here, in the first installment of an article from the latest Mystery Date, Growing
Up and Liking It: a Primer of Period Pedagogy, 1868 - 1996 .
But menstruation is just one of Lynn's interests. In the
five editions of MD so far, she collects and reviews old publications about
marriage, dating, sex, advice and self-help and sprinkles the pages with those often humorous illustrations
from bygone eras. Her wit lightens her erudition, which is stupendous. And she's easy
to read. There's more about Lynn after the article.
I too know the pleasure
of finding old books. When I was a sophomore in high
school, too many moons ago, I bought Photographs by Man Ray, the
1934 English version of the collection of the great surrealist, for $5 -
FIVE DOLLARS! - in a used-book store in Washington, D.C.
Two years later I again paid $5 - which happened to be my allowance - for
the two volumes of the Harper and Brothers 1846 edition of Darwin's Voyage of the
Beagle (the short title), in a tiny bookshop in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
My father was attending the Army War College in that town, and I was finishing
high school. The lady who sold me the books also taught me how to pronounce
miscellany, which formed part of the title of the Harper's series.
Just a few years ago I saw Stjernestunder, a 1950
Danish translation of Stefan Zweig's Sternstunden der Menschheit, in an antique mall in Raleigh,
North Carolina, and plunked down $7.50 for it. Sternstunden was the
runaway bestseller among smart German high school kids in the 1920s. Zweig
- he's the most exciting writer I have
ever read - was the most translated writer in the world
right before World War Two. Anyone who has read his short biographies -
Joseph Fouché may be his best - has trouble reading anyone
else's. A Jew, he killed himself in Brazil, in 1942, fearing the Nazis would
conquer the world.
What does this have to with menstruation?
Nothing at all, but just hold on a second! My first
big "find" was a reprint of Dreyer's New General Catalogue
of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, and Index Catalog, which I bought
in the ninth grade. I was an astronomy fanatic, and held in my hands precise data about those spinning worlds of the
night. Hey, I also have the first Mad comic
book (1954), which my big brother and I - oh, all right, it was his
money - bought in an Eagle supermarket in Rock Island, Illinois; and we
bought (and I have) many more.
Well, I see you're
still with me, so I'll end it here by saying the biggest
treasure to get away, considering my meager funds, was the reprint
of the 11-volume, 1925-1930 Paris edition of ALL the caricatures of Honoré
Daumier (about 4000), with commentary, edited by Loys Delteil: Honoré
Daumier, catalogue illustré des lithographies; I'm an artist
and cartoonist, and Daumier is the best artist of all the cartoonists. I
had ordered it for $300 while working as an illustrator in Heidelberg, Germany.
Then I realized I didn't have the money
to pay the rent, and had to put a stop payment on the
check at the local American Express. Actually, my landlady, the widow of
a police major during Nazi Germany, was a nice person, and rich, and probably
would have let me pay it later; but the fact is, I didn't buy it, to my
lasting regret. Now it goes for over a thousand bucks.
Whew, I really got carried away! Read Growing Up and Liking It, and you will too!
Authors on the Internet...
Your MUM director received this e-mail recently:
"Never thought I'd discover this
on the Web! I'm the author of 'Everything You Must Know About Tampons' (Berkley
Books, 1981), and how I wish this info had been available when I was doing
my research. Keep up the good work!
Austrians Interested in Art of Menstruation
I received a fax from Werkstudio, an agency in Vienna, Austria,
which puts together medical publications. They want
to use two of the images in the Art of Menstruation
exhibit for an article about menstruation for physicians, among whom
the subject is still taboo, and in
the land of Freud (isn't that mind-boggling?).
Why not send photos of art work about menstruation
you have done to MUM? I can't guarantee we'll show them, but nothing ventured,
© 1997 Harry Finley. It is illegal
to reproduce or distribute work on this Web site in any manner or medium
without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations
See Tampax tampons (1970, with Susan Dey), Personal Products (1955, with Carol Lynley), and
German o.b. tampons (lower ad, 1981) See a Lucky Strike cigarettes ad from 1933.
See ads for menarche-education booklets:
Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday
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.