New this week: Daintette menstrual cup: the first?


Call Your Congressman About the Proposed Tampon Safety and Research Act! Here's How and Why.

Menstrual Products TV Ads Spare Men's Feelings

A writer researching an article on advertising for a British magazine told me yesterday that, at least in the United Kingdom, television advertising for menstrual pads and tampons seems so coy because advertisers don't want to drive men out of the room!

Misty scenery and vague language offend less than, well - maybe I had better not talk about it!

In defense of my brethren, I confess I don't like looking at hemorrhoid and adult-diaper ads, but so what? Millions of people need relief, and these are some ways to help.

Can the Daintette Claim To Be the First Menstrual Cup?

Two weeks ago I reported information about a menstrual cup sent me by Finney County Historical Society, Garden City, Kansas (U.S.A.) (left, a photo of the cup, courtesy of the Society, and somewhat altered by Harry Finley) . Someone in the Society's neighborhood found it in an old storage room and donated it to them.

(And yes, the cup is green - that was apparently the company color - and no, I don't know if the handle was supposed to tilt. Many things sag with time.)

Since then I have discovered that the patents on which the cup, Daintette, is based date from 1932 and 1935, years before the 1937 patent of Leona Chalmers, which I thought formed the basis for the presumed (my presumption) first-ever cup, manufactured just before World War II.

This does not necessarily mean that the Daintette predated the Chalmers cup, but it leaves that possibility open. Dainty Maid, Inc., of Middlefield, Connecticut, which made the Daintette, operated between 1926 and the early 1970s. The box containing the Finney cup looks to me as being from the 1960s or 1970s. The company could have modernized the box to fit the times.

Dainty Maid also sold unusual douching and enema apparatus, and the company's name seems to be an example of some law whereby a product name projects more delicacy as the product gets less discussable. They couldn't call it the Middlefield Enema, Douche and Menstrual Cup Company!

From reading some of its testimonial literature, it seems that the firm employed your friends and mine as "hygienists," who arranged "parties" to sell douche and enema syringes and menstrual cups, much as Avon and Tupperware sell their wares today. A woman in Bloomington, Illinois, for example, wrote that she has lined up a party of 12 people, and is ordering six "Services" (enema/douche syringes and bags, speaking of euphemisms) and two "Personal Powders" (douching powder, which the company also recommended for use with the "colonator" tip for enemas). One writer spoke of getting her second "Dainty Maid" car, another of paying for two kids' education from the money earned selling Dainty Maid products.

But Keeping in Mind Dainty-Maid Enema-Bag-Selling Parties, Please Pause For an Outburst From This Writer

America, the paradox.

As an example, we have conservative elected officials in a country that is so terrified of sex now putting the most salacious material imaginable on the Web, for the second time - the SECOND time! - all in the name of - hmm, what?

These people once were determined to protect your children and you from the same material on the airways.

But this material is so terrible - sex is so terrible! - it's best to put it all on the Web so that advanced first graders can study it and, I earnestly hope, question their parents and teachers about it.

Would these congressional parents please write up their own sexual experiences, if they have any with each other, and put them on the Web? Oh, all right, use extramarital acts if that's all you have to offer.

After this current material is online, of course, let's go back to censorship of other material and the pursuit of anyone caught looking at it in cyberspace, in the 7-11 or in Cincinnati. Sex is OK only if you're lynching a president.

The same people object to explicit sex education. What in the world are these documents and tapes but the most drooling sex education, the stuff kids snicker to each other about and that mortify parents?

Hatred conquers all, I guess - a most un-Christian attitude in this Christian nation. Isn't that what the same people screamed a couple of years back, that America is a Christian nation?

There must be something in the Bible about hypocrisy.

Congress shames me and itself.

OK, so back to douching. (See old ads and equipment for douching, starting here in Australia.)

The company early on was called Mon Docteur Importing Company! Americans think anything with a French name is high class but at the same time, paradoxically, naughty! This explains the -ette in Daintette, and perfectly illustrates the Law of Euphemism, above. Students of this site know that another menstrual cup was the Tassette, "little cup," and French sounding, therefore "feminine," naughty and classy. My head is spinning.

I thank a property management company in Middlefield for sending me details about Dainty Maid.

Read more about the cup (although the section is unfinished), and see its box and sections of its patents.

Order the Instead Menstrual Cup by Telephone

A visitor to the site e-mailed me with this good news for those of you who like this cup or who would like to try it:


You can order Instead from Akcess Pacific and have it mailed to your home.

I was getting very nervous, since my period is coming and I am down to my last Instead cup, and I can't find them at my local stores at all. So I called the offices of Ultrafem and got a recording instructing callers to call Akcess Pacific to order Instead. I called them right away and ordered some. The phone number is 406-542-3185 (U.S.A.). I hope to receive it soon; since my first experience with Instead, I REFUSE to use anything else!

Someone else told me that Akcess Pacific has just a few month's supply of the menstrual cup on hand; she did not know if the company plans to manufacture them.

Here are more comments about menstrual cups; look back also into recent News items.

Letters to Your MUM

Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound prompted this e-mail:


I enjoyed visiting the Lydia Pinkham page.

I am from Massachusetts, and the legendary Lydia Pinkham's company was in nearby Lynn -

Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin

you never come out

the way ya went in

and a few years ago, Yankee Magazine did a feature on Lydia Pinkham:

A baby in every bottle

or so the jingle ran

but the FDA continues to say

you're gonna need a man.

The Pinkham medicine contained a reputed aphrodisiac, fenugreek seed, and, of course, alcohol stronger than wine, which explain the first line of the second poem.

Humbled, and male fears:

I am truly humbled by your incredible site. This is such a very, very important subject. It is without question one of the major jumping off places for research into a female deity, male fears and female psychology.

I applaud and honor your efforts to expand our knowledge and herstory regarding this subject. My personal studies include pre-menstrual syndrome.

I believe that a woman's cycles are one hundred percent connected to the lunar cycles, and I sincerely believe that women who are severely affected, emotionally, physically and mentally by these cycles are "out-of-work priestesses." The visions which can come with cycling as well as the deeply spiritual and philosophical insights which result from such cycling are truly part of a god/dess head and a fundamental aspect of human religious thought.

Please, please continue this work.

She is Returning,


In a continuing discussion, here's much more about Islam, Judaism and menstruation:

I read Kathleen's explanation in your page last month [see the letter about halfway down the page].

Kathleen O'Grady is right about Muslim respect for the Torah. However, there are many practices mentioned in the Torah that are very different from the practices prescribed in Qur'an [also written Koran] and from the examples given by Muhammad, the messenger. (I have to stress the word messenger. Just yesterday I found out a friend thought that Muslims worship Muhammad.)

These are the differences:

1. Anyone who touches a menstruating woman will be unclean until evening. (Leviticus 15:19)

In Islam people do not become unclean if they touch a menstruating woman.

2. Anything that a menstruating woman sits or lies on are unclean. Anyone who touches any of those things must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and that person will be unclean until evening. (Lev 15:20-23 and 26-28)

There is no such prohibition in Islam. A bed or a chair does not become unclean just because a menstruating woman has used it. You can share the same bed, the same chair, blanket, etc. with a menstruating woman, and they won't make you unclean. You don't have to bathe after you touch them.

The use of the term unclean in Leviticus 15 does not seem to mean physical uncleanliness. If it does, then there should not be any reason why after cleaning, they are still considered unclean until evening (this is my humble opinion).

3. If a man touches the monthly flow he will be unclean for seven days, and his bed will be unclean too. (Lev 15:24).

I think this, once again, shows that the term unclean in Leviticus 15 is not about physical cleanness.

In Islam, if anyone touches menstruation discharge, he just washes it away, and he is clean. One does not need to wait until evening to consider anything that has been soiled by menstruation discharge clean. They can use them right after they wash them clean.

4. When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days. When she is cleaned from discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. (Lev 15:19, 28)

In Islam, the period of your menstruation lasts as long as your menstruation. If it is three days, then it's three days. You don't have to wait seven days. You do have to take a ritual bath at the end of the period to indicate the end of your menstruating period. After that, vaginal sex is allowed (on menstruating days, sex is allowed, as long as there is no vaginal penetration).

Menstruation is a vulnerable condition for a woman (Arab: Adhan, see a good translation of Qur'an 2:222). The only thing she is excluded from is the mandatory prayer, which she can resume after the end of her period (not necessarily seven days, but her actual menstruation period). I always think of it as a period God gives us to rest.

5. On the 8th day, the woman must bring two doves to the priest to sacrifice (one for sin offering, one for burnt offering). (Lev 15:29-30)

There is no such practice in Islam. And there's definitely no burnt offering for whatever reason. Islam does not believe in blood offering/sacrifice.

So, the practice concerning menstruation in Qur'an or Islam is very different from what is prescribed in the Bible/Torah.



A Hawaiian likes the Instead menstrual cup:

I have been using the INSTEAD cup for about a year now. When I first started using it I felt foolish about throwing it away after only a few hours. Plus it was expensive. A box of 14 sold for around $9.00 here in Hawaii. So I started reusing them. Washed it with an anti-bacterial soap and then dried it.

I have a pre-teen daughter that I would love to teach to use these. But I cannot find them anymore. I have a box left and after reading your Web site I plan on being even more careful with how often I use them. Mostly because I may want to save them for times when I really need them.

I am a teacher and I play soccer. The INSTEAD is great. What can we do to keep this company in business?

Probably nothing, but you can buy Instead by phone at 406-542-3185. See the item above.

Reminder: The Museum Closes Until 7 November, But This Site Marches On

Read more about this.

Do You Have Irregular Menses?

If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome.

Jane Newman, Clinical Research Coordinator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, asked me to tell you that

Irregular menses identify women at high risk for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which exists in 6-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is a major cause of infertility and is linked to diabetes.

Learn more about current research on PCOS at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University - or contact Jane Newman.

If you have fewer than six periods a year, you may be eligible to participate in the study!

See more medical and scientific information about menstruation.

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New this week: Daintette menstrual cup: the first?



Take a short tour of MUM! (and on Web video!) - FAQ - Future of this museum - Tampon Safety Act - Visit or contact the actual museum - Board of Directors - Norwegian menstruation exhibit - The media and the MUM - Menstrual odor - Prof. Mack C. Padd: Fat Cat - The science and medicine of menstruation - Early tampons - Books about menstruation - Menstrual cups: history, comments - A Note from Germany/Neues aus Deutschland und Europa - Letters - Links

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