New this week: An interpretation of a quote of Jesus - Kotex ad (U.S.A., January 1923) - Menstrual humor - Dr. Michael Abramson's poems

PREVIOUS NEWS | newest news | first page | contact the museum | menstrual products safety | FAQ |


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

Visit Judy Chicago's Web Site

Judy Chicago, feminism's greatest artist, now has a Web site for her organization, Through the Flower:

Dear Mr. Finley,

Hello, Stephanie Cook (Judy Chicago's assistant) here.

I was just looking at your Web page. The reproduction of "Red Flag" [a print by Judy Chicago] looks great.

I have a correction for you regarding one of the titles that you mention on your page. "Menstruation Bathroom," not "Menstrual Bathroom," was first created in "Womanhouse" in the 70's and was re-created in 1995 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which is where that particular section of "Under Wraps" was filmed.

Also, Through the Flower and Judy's Web site is http://www.JudyChicago.com. We encourage you to visit and/or create a link.

I hope you are enjoying your print of "Red Flag"!

Sincerely,

Stephanie Cook

Assistant to Judy Chicago


"painstaking documentation of a societal taboo"

I received an e-mail last week from a woman asking how could I invent such a thing as this museum because I am not a woman and therefore know nothing about menstruation. And she said male doctors know nothing about women either.

Of course I cannot have personal knowledge of menstruation.

But I likened her statement to one saying the Holocaust Museum in Washington must close its doors because its staff did not suffer in German concentration camps in World War II.

There is a kind of knowledge I can acquire - that anyone can acquire - that I can put on this Web site and into a museum, and a kind I can't.

I suspect she learned something from this Web site that cannot be gained by simply being a woman. Read more about why I did this.

Here's mail from a woman with an opposite view:

It is a first for me, who has worked in women's health for eight years, to see such painstaking documentation of a societal taboo. It is a wonderful thing to give women an alternative forum that is positive, as our society has convinced us that the very cycle that makes us women is somehow unhealthy and unclean; nothing could be further from the truth.

Thank you for helping to point out some misconceptions about menstruation and highlighting the history that has created a mistrustful attitude of premenstrual or menstruating women. It serves us well as people to accept and promote the normalcy of this natural phenomenon.

Thanks again,

Diane Imelda Fleming,

Family Planning Council Training Department


A very wise woman, probably a genius, writes:

Dear Harry,

Well, all I can say is you are the only one who could be the director of a museum of menstruation. [Aw right!]

A person, just one, you, has already maintained this vision enough to bring it to so many women's attention already. To allow someone else to take over would, I believe, ruin the integrity of what you are doing. [Bravo! I have the Nobel Prize committee on the phone right now to nominate her for a Prize. OK, so create a flattery category!!]

To me, your being an "old bachelor" is a perfect place to be, objective, information collecting without filters of experience, and from what I can feel from the presentation of this info, you have a very quiet awe about the magic of what a women's body is. Something a lot of women have forgotten. [Make that two Nobel Prizes!]

I also would like to ask you for assistance with a menstrual health seminar I am aiming to run in high school here in Melbourne, Australia. [Oh. Er. Hmm. Well . . . . No, just kidding!]

I have used a Keeper [menstrual cup] for two years and have personally studied menstruation as a whole experience. Within the seminar I will be presenting a product review of ALL the menstrual products on the market, disposable and non-disposable. Putting them all in the same format that describes:

*contents / ingredients

*production ingredients used

*packaging and labelling

*cost and availability

*recommended use

*interaction with the body

*recommended disposal

*decomposing time needed

[You are doing a great service!]

Needless to say some companies have hoped that I would just go away, though Kotex has been very helpful. Johnson & Johnson sent me their education kit, as if to say, "we teach them all they need to know . . . ?"

I would like to spend some time in the session on advertising past and present and then work on what would be more appropriate advertising images.

I will bring into the seminar a wombmoon calendar created by Felicity Oswell of New South Wales in Australia that is a clear and creative way for women to chart their cycle.

I hope we can work together and that the future of the museum is bright and beautiful.

Life is change

Growth is optional

Choose wisely

Katherine Cunningham


An interpretation of something Jesus said

In the Religion and Menstruation section of this site, I posted part of a site devoted to Zoroastrianism, which quoted from the Bible something Jesus said. A male mailer wants to correct an impression:

Dear Sir,

I came across your Web site while performing a search for information regarding Lysol. My interest piqued, I checked it out and found it very informative and entertaining. I would like to clarify one thing on your Religion and Menstruation page.

You list a statement in the New Testament by Jesus, "Who touched me? My Glory is gone out of me." What version is this quote from? Most versions I have seen say power, healing power, or virtue instead of Glory. [I don't know. Again, this is from the Zoroastrian site.]

You positioned this in a way to make it seem as if it should be equated with the other references to the uncleanliness of menstruation. I feel this is out of context of the verses in which it appears: Luke 8:42, Matthew 9:20, and Mark 5:25.

Actually, Jesus recognized that the girl's faith was such that she felt that she would be healed from her condition, which is described as a bleeding for twelve years. It is generally accepted that her affliction was either a non-stop issue of blood or hemorrhaging, as the result of disease, as is affirmed by the statement that she had spent all of her saving on physicians, and her condition got worse as a result. This is in opposition to the idea that she was merely experiencing a normal menstrual cycle flow.

The context of the verse is to show Jesus' acknowledgement of the girl's faith, not to call attention to the healing, and not as an example of a violation of Leviticus 15, or tainting as a result of her flow.


Eco Yarn Tampons: new to the U.S.A.:

Dear Mr Finley,

Hello, my name is David Pfanner.

I am from a new company called Phoebus Group. We have a division, Phoebus Personal Products (http://www.phoebus-group.com/ppp, but the site is not complete as of today), which is getting into distributing tampons. These tampons are a fairly new product to the United States; they're from Eco Yarn, an Australian company which manufactures 100 percent organic cotton tampons. These tampons use no bleach in the process and contain no rayon or other potentially harmful chemicals. [Read about safe tampons, cups, etc.]

I came across your site and found it most informative and helpful. I would like to use some of the information from your site to post on ours. I hope we can cooperate in promoting women's health issues, which need to be addressed. I thank you for your time, and look foward to keeping touch.

Sincerely,

David Pfanner


Buy Instead menstrual cup at Target stores:

Hey Harry!

I've got an update on where interested folks might find Instead menstrual cups.

My sister and I were in a Target discount-department store a week or so ago and found them there; in fact, they carried two different size boxes.

While neither my sister nor I purchased any of them or plan to purchase them, I thought I'd let you know there's somewhere other people can find them. I'm not sure if Target stores are a nationwide chain or what, but around here (Little Rock, Arkansas) there are two close by. [Call 1-800-instead in the U.S.A. for information about other places to buy it, or to order by phone.]

Keep up the great work on the Web site! [Many thanks!]


I am Taking a Two-Week Break; See You 3 January

Your MUM will chill (that is American slang for relax and not update this site), literally, this being winter here in Washington, until 3 January 1999.

Time flies, doesn't it?

I think this is the first time since I started this site two-and-a-half years ago that I have taken more than a one-week break.

I wish you Happy Holidays if you do celebrate this time of year, and, well, best of luck to the rest of you!


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.


New this week: An interpretation of a quote of Jesus - Kotex ad (U.S.A., January 1923) - Menstrual humor - Dr. Michael Abramson's poems

PREVIOUS NEWS | first page | newest news | contact the museum | menstrual products safety | FAQ |Take a short tour of MUM! (and on Web video!) - FAQ - Future of this museum - Tampon Safety Act - 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 - Religion and menstruation: A discussion - Safety of menstrual products (asbestos, dioxin, toxic shock syndrome, viscose rayon) - A Note from Germany/Neues aus Deutschland und Europa - Letters - Links

1998 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 hfinley@mum.org