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

Roseanne and the CBC Meet Your MUM

In October the Roseanne television talk show will visit this museum via a live feed from your MUM to Los Angeles, where the show originates. Viewers will probably see the show the week after its taping. If I find out when, I'll tell you in this spot.

Readers may remember comedian Roseanne Barr from her television series and various guest appearances, such as in the Saturday Night Live comedy show, which I thought was hilarious, and as editor of The New Yorker magazine for one issue, which was widely criticized.

And a crew from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation visits this week to shoot some of the museum's exhibits as part of a documentary history of advertising.

Letters to Your MUM

We have an on-going, interesting discussion (see Letters to Your MUM) of Islam, Judaism, and menstruation:

Ida is correct that Islam does not follow the Leviticus 15 proscriptions of menstruation. I did not mean to indicate that in my last posting. She is very correct in pointing out the differences between the various religious traditions. Thank you for that.

However, I should also indicate that most Reform and Conservative Jews do not follow the Leviticus 15 passage either; and specifically, the "blood sacrifice" that she refers to is only for irregular menses (and not regular menstruation) in Lev. 15. Similar sacrifices were requested for irregular seminal discharges as well.

Further, there are important Hadith comments on menstruation in Islam, which include the following proscriptions for the menstruating woman: a menstruating woman is not permitted to fast, recite her daily prayers, take part in religious ritual, enter a Mosque or touch the Koran. These prohibitions do not take place during the Hajj.

Every major religious tradition has similar prohibitions, though they have varied over time and geography. For example, a menstruating woman in the Greek Orthodox church is not permitted to take communion.

Catholic protests against female ordination of women centre on the "purity" of a woman's body, with one of the main arguments being that a menstruating woman would not be able to present mass, etc.

The main question in most of these traditions is whether the rules surrounding the menstruating woman have/are/were positive or negative? (Is menstruation treated as a special time that should be marked off from secular life, or as a polluting and potentially "unholy" event. Are menstrual huts a celebration of menstruation or a punishment, for example).

These questions require specificity in culture, location, historical time periods, etc. For example, in some areas the Jewish menstrual rules and mikveh have been preserved as a special time for women to share religious learning and information while in other areas and times it has been a means to prevent women from participating in the higher echelons of religious life.

Kathleen O'Grady

Department of Religious Studies

University of Calgary



A previous writer writes again:

Dear Harry,

What a nice change to see women who are caring about commenting on their own bodies, what is comfortable, where they are going, etc.

I had to write to you again, am sitting here after e-mailing Hillary Clinton. Any of us ladies who have had powerful men have known there is always some SWEET THANG out there batting her eyes, wiggling her fanny and hoping he would notice. Most of the time, the guy just looks and gets a twinge and a bit of fantasy, but if he is at all a human male with hormones, he may think: Should I or shouldn't I?

It is the most Christian intolerance I have ever heard. If the prosecutors believe that Jesus sacrificed for our sins, then why are we so interested in flogging the President for his "sins"?

But I have friends who wear the cloak of their religion on the top of their head showing they belong to a group that does not believe in cutting the hair, wear no lipstick, have this little pursed-up mouth at the very mention of sex or menstruation or anything to do with "down there."

I must say, I pity their partners. The poor guy must be really wondering if this is what marriage is all about ?

I don't know about other mothers but I raised my son to be decent and honorable, but not inhuman. I hope he is able to handle his own life now that he is a father, husband, and nearly 40. He grew up knowing that I didn't condone irresponsible behavior, but he had to know the consequences of his actions. Thus he has five children with his wife, and they still gaze rather adoringly into each other's eyes at times. He is not perfect, nor is his father or mother. I think we have put our placing wrongdoers in stocks, flogging the criminal, and persecuting the ones we find guilty of crimes. Well, I guess we haven't stopped.

Our leaders in our nation have made a mockery of justice, perform very well on TV with their speeches against what they call lying, and they have spent our tax money for the most foolish things. There are real problems in our country besides whether some hanky panky went on in the White House. We need decent child care, better education for our young people and those that need to learn to earn a living. We need to see our children are healthy and don't have these dreadful diseases as most of us have acquired after getting older.

Our medical insurance coverage needs to be better. Right now I see very grand offices built for the doctors when our women need some health care to take care of cancer, and our other female problems. The biggest thing since penicillin seems to be Viagra to make sure the impotent men could get an erection. We need some real research in combating prostate and breast cancers.

Viagra is over-rated to us who have husbands who never need it. My husband and I find a lot in hugs and kisses to lead up to a very fulfilling sex life. My grandfather and grandmother were in their 80s and still sleeping together, and they confessed their sexual life was still as good as ever. What has changed in this world since those olden days?

I love your Web site, Harry, and these people are fantastic to write about what works for them in menstruation, and their body changes. I like the idea of this information to be used in health classes in schools. Boys and girls alike need to know more about themselves.

Anyone who ever belonged to 4H learned a certain amount of animal husbandry and believe it or not, even that education was better than none.

Your admiring friend from the Missouri Ozarks,

Bonnie Martin

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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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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