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)
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 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
DIRECTORY of all topics (See also the SEARCH ENGINE, bottom of page.)
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepage | LIST OF ALL TOPICS | 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
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

No Time to Publish Catamenia

You folks who have gotten the paper version of Catamenia, the MUM newsletter, will receive it no longer.

Lack of time caused by my having to work for a living at something totally unrelated to this museum - I am a graphic designer, painter and cartoonist with a billion interests - forced me to choose between the newsletter and this Web site. Those of you who all by yourself have written, laid out, printed, folded, stuffed into envelopes, licked the stamps for, slapped on mailing labels for, and hauled (in several trips) to the post office 600+ newsletters four times a year (at the beginning) will appreciate my choice.

This Web site has the advantage of quickness of publication, low cost, color and an extraordinary range of unsolicited readership. There are no mailing lists, no changes of address, no trudging to the printer and post office, no - well, I think you understand.

What I regret is not reaching those folks without access to computers, who form a large minority of the Catamenia readers.

Stomach problems for me have been the result of trying to do too much, and I have to take it easier to avoid worse problems.

I had wanted to create a museum and forum for menstruation as a kind of gift to women, who have been so important to me all my life (starting with my mother); and they are the center of my art. I have succeeded in doing this, but further development will require more than just me. I hope I will have the energy to finish the job.

The Web version of Catamenia, which contains longish personal narrative, will remain here.

Who Are More Prudish Than the Americans?

Maybe the Japanese, at least in some ways, says Judith Newman, a writer for Cosmopolitan and other magazines.

Newman was interviewing the founder of MUM (yours truly) last Saturday for an article on male attitudes towards menstruation. I mentioned that the Japanese, and Asians in general, much prefer pads over tampons, in part because of insertion and withdrawal messiness.

This reminded her of the concern Japanese women have about the sounds accompanying urination and defecation when in public toilets. To conceal them, many constantly flush the toilet (something some American men do when using a urinal, although possibly for different reasons). To stop this great waste of water, some public toilets have recorded sounds of flushing toilets playing over a loudspeaker! Hey, why not?

When I was a kid in a family of four males and one female, my poor mother (who grew up the youngest in a family of an even greater ratio, although in the opposite direction, 6 to 1), resorted to all sorts of stratagems to prevent anyone from knowing she performed the above-mentioned functions. I grew up thinking women were different creatures altogether. I was also my mother's favorite.

Is this why there's a Museum of Menstruation today?

See Provocative Art, Nice Site

First look at Jean Tracy's Art of Menstruation here at MUM (you too can show your art for free), then click to Moon Hutch, her new Web site about menstruation. Nice! (There's no financial tie-in, folks, even though her site is commercial).

Conceded: the Menstrual Cup Instead is Messy

A recent visitor to the museum from Bozell Worldwide Advertising in New York, which makes the ads for Instead menstrual cup (see the many discussions below about the various cups), agreed with me that using the cup can be a messy experience. The company does not deny this. She said Ultrafem, which makes Instead, encourages users to carefully read the instructions, and as with tampons, practice really helps.

An Instead user herself, she said the huge advantage of being able to keep the cup in all day, and during sex far outweighs the faults, which include its one-time use. And she kindly donated a box of the cups to the museum.

Studies have shown that cups in general are safer than tampons and pads.

The visitor's companion was a man who worked for Proctor and Gamble, of Rely tampon infamy (Rely was the tampon which triggered the toxic shock terror in 1979-80). He admitted he was skeptical about the museum before arriving - most people are - but soon told me he had never thought menstruation could be this interesting, or that it embraced such a wide range of topics.

By the way, men as bodyguards have accompanied female visitors to the museum since its founding over two years ago; I can understand this. The sooner MUM sits in a public place the better!

The couple was black, which is very unusual. Probably 95% of visitors are white women with an often reluctant male.

Men Suffer More Than Women When Incontinent

Visitors to MUM tend to be intelligent and well-informed, and the tour guide sometimes learns as much as the museum-goer.

A good example is the nurse who told me that a recent study showed that men tend to become more depressed than women when they have to wear adult diapers for incontinence.

Women have been used to absorbing various discharges from their nether regions since puberty, and the wearing of special undergarments again, although in advanced years, is at least familiar.

But men are not used to this. My guess is that men regard it at best as a feminine thing to do, thus just another reduction of their masculinity, along with physical frailty, declining ability in sex, etc. And whereas menstruation is normal, and the equipment to absorb it is too, incontinence is not normal and not masculine (nor feminine).

And of course diapers mean children. In much of Western society, childishness is a characteristic sometimes valued by men in women, as much as this idea may disturb many people. Male independence and male protection of women are themes running through our culture. Childish men - well, they're not men.

Grow up, you may say; I've already heard this from women when I talk about the report. But I've observed that old age is a new challenge to everybody, and we are all beginners, even when old.

Death itself is a fresh experience for everybody.

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© 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 to

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 (Kotex, 1933),
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 similar booklets!
See another ad for As One Girl to Another (1942), and the booklet itself.