New this week: Tampax tampon ad (U.S.A., Aug 1965) - Menstrual humor

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It's Too Late to Call Your Congressman About the Proposed Tampon Safety and Research Act! Congress Had More Important ;-) Things To Do! Here's How and Why for Next Time.

Letters to Your MUM

Did Cathy Rigby's Parents Exploit Her?

This e-mailer refers to the photograph (scroll down to the bottom of the page) of the nude 19-year-old Olympic gymnast in a 1972 Sports Illustrated magazine. Years later Rigby made many ads for Stayfree menstrual pads:

Just an aside from someone familiar with Ms. Rigby: Without putting too fine a point on it, one might ask, where were mom and dad during the shooting of nude photos of a teenage daughter? ($$)

[Another aside: Lee Miller's father took nude photos of her when she was a teenager, some of which appear in biographies of her.]

The pressures for her to do this were at once enormous and beyond humiliating. Hardly "willing to take risks," [my words on the page on Rigby on this site] she was a kid seemingly without choice. Imagine your daughter sitting around nude while the photographer's crew ogled and set up the next shot with these poses. She was the object. Abuse was not a word yet in vogue.

She has come through this and the eating disorders and a good many other difficult things in flying colors, and is, indeed, a delightful and gracious human being to know and talk to. She deserves all she can get.

Sanitary belts and washable pads:

Thanks for putting the museum on the 'Net.

I'm a nurse and during the late 1980s and early 1990s we still used belts and pad in the obstetrics section of the hospital. This is when I first realized these young girls had never seen or heard of sanitary belts! This is a good part of history that has been overlooked - thanks for keeping it alive.

You seem to be the best resource on the 'Net. Do you know where I can get a pattern for sewing your own [washable] pads? [Yes, here:]

Thanks a lot.

Dude says,"You're welcome!"

Had to browse your exhibit and write a paper on it for a class. Such a cool idea.

Exploring more of why different cultures have labeled menstruation as "taboo" would be good to know. [Yes, it would.]

I embrace my blood and hope other women have no shame connected to their "little friend" every month. Your museum is a powerful tool in increasing awareness and acceptedness of menstruation.

Thanks, Dude!

More on Instead and The Keeper menstrual cups:

I have been using the Instead menstrual cup for over a year now and have found no rubbing or scrapping on the cervix [an e-mailer several weeks ago wrote that she had these problems]. I am a petite woman who has never had natural child birth and this is the first product that I have ever used that fits, stays in place and that I cannot feel when in position.

Unfortunately, I have only found one store in our area (Orlando, FL) that carries them all the time. One of the major drug store chains has them on occasion. [Call 1-800-INSTEAD for places to buy Instead and how to have it delivered to you.]

This site is the first time I have heard of The Keeper [menstrual cup]. Are their any sites that actually show what it looks like? [Yes, this MUM site. And buy it here.] I am intrigued by the "size" feature. [Read the MUM page on The Keeper, and read some recent developments about it.]

How men react to menstruation:

Dear Mr. Finley,

I am the one who wrote earlier asking to download images for my rhetoric oral [at a New England university]. Thank you for allowing it.

The speech went very well with only one sour and utterly disgusted male audience member. I passed around a pile of freshly sewn washable menstrual pads for each person to have an example on his/her desk. When it got to him he shook violently and made his face all screwy. All of the other males were in agreement with my cause but did admit to their embarrassment and the fact that they would never talk to a female about saving themselves from the chemicals or saving our world from the waste. Sigh.

The day I returned home from my rhetoric oral I received [a copy of the Canadian television film] Under Wraps in the mail. It is very powerful. I got to see bits of your museum - very impressive. Once again, thank you for trying to put a stop to the shame and the hush-hushness of it all.

Finals are coming soon but I am going to try to plan a gathering to watch the film. A lot of my friends are aware of the harm of disposable tampons and pads but keep on using them. I think the TSS [toxic shock syndrome] discussions in the film make it clear that they are not immune to the problem.

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: Tampax tampon ad (U.S.A., Aug 1965) - Menstrual humor


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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