New this week: Menstruation,
masturbation, fast women and good-for-nothing wives: excerpts
from three books about masturbation, women's diseases, and women's rights:
The Science of a New Life, by John Cowan, M. D.
(1875, New York, New York, U.S.A.) - Plain Facts
for Old and Young: Embracing the Natural History and Hygiene of Organic
Life, by J. H. Kellogg, M. D. (1892, Burlington, Iowa, U.S.A.) - Gynecology, by Howard A. Kelly, A. B., M.D., LL. D. (1928,
New York, New York, U. S. A.)
The Web Site Disappeared Again!
Without telling me - this seems to be an Internet
character flaw - my ISP shut down the MUM site sometime in the past day
or two because, according to a technician, there were too many site visitors
for the bandwidth that comes with my business package. An e-mail to me instead
would have solved the problem.
I hope to have more bandwidth by Monday, 31 January,
and if you are reading this, all is well - I hope.
Letters to Your MUM
Toxic shock prevalence and outdated
information about the Instead menstrual cup:
I just visited your Web site and I found a few
of the postings to be untrue.
First, Instead says on their informational packet
in their boxes that they don't cause TSS because they have no absorbency
factor; one of the ladies on your message board said they were worse
than tampons when it comes to TSS. [As far as I know, there have been no
confirmed cases of TSS - toxic shock syndrome - from Instead, as there
have been none with the Keeper - as far as I know. But, as Dr. Philip Tierno
writes about The Keeper
cup - here's the Web
site - that doesn't mean there is no TSS danger with either one, although
that danger may be extremely small. And some women are more susceptible
to TSS than others.]
Second, I called the Instead 800 [-INSTEAD] number last week and it
was up and running. I connected to their Web
site today from your site and it's still functioning too. Are those
posts on your site talking about their demise old or something? Just wondering.
[I think they date way back. The recent ones have the information you talk
about. Instead is alive!]
I would like to see some information on tilted uteruses and the use
of Instead. My doctors tell me I have a tilted uterus and I would like
all possible information on that condition! :) [I can't supply it. Does
any reader have that information?]
Three Australian women wrote me, below, that the Australian
government just started taxing menstrual products.
I think American women have always had to pay taxes on these products. A
Safeway grocery clerk explained to me yesterday that baby food is not taxed,
but diapers are, just as Tampax is. I don't know what the rationale is.
You may be interested in the fuss which the proposed 10%
GST [Goods and Services Tax] on tampons is
making in Australia. [My Safeway clerk said it was 5% here in Maryland.]
Since last Friday when our Federal Health minister confirmed that tampons
would be taxed since they are not a health item (he was on television categorically
stating that menstruation is not a sickness [he's right, but still . .
.]) there has been an uproar. Here is a link to the latest news item http://www.abc.net.au/news/2000/01/item20000124122600_1.htm
[It may be gone when you read this.]
Perhaps I should direct Australian women to your site to show them
that tampons are not essential and that there are alternatives [like cups].
Keep up the good work.
The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health may be interested in
a controversy current in Australia: How are menstrual products to be classified
for the purposes of the Australian Commonwealth's new Goods and Services
The women's movement generally says that sanitary
aids are health products and should be tax free like condoms and aspirin.
The minister says that they are toiletries or grooming aids and should
be taxed like shaving cream. A minority of women say that menstruation
is not an illness therefore menstrual hygiene products cannot be considered
as promoting health in the same way that condoms do.
What do your readers think? [E-mail]
What is it exactly with American women and applicator
As an Australian woman, whenever I walk through the women's hygiene
section of Safeway or Coles (Australian supermarkets), I hardly ever see
applicator tampons - in fact, I would be lucky to see more than one brand
(Tampax) that has applicator tampons. All the major
brands sold in Australia (Libra, Carefree, Kotex) are sold without an applicator
- like the Pursettes advertised in your archives
section. In fact, brands like Libra who have branched
into the applicator market either don't keep them available for very long
or sell very few of them and they take up little shelf space. I
personally have no problems using "compact" tampons - by putting
a tampon in sans applicator I can feel that the tampon
has gone in properly and I can direct it with ease inside me so that it
sits comfortably. Yes, I get blood on my finger - but that is what loo
paper is for if you are stuck in a public loo at changing time - no-one
sticky beaks anyway.
Are Americans just more uptight about their periods
than Australians (because I've never seen an ad like the "shame"
one here in Oz) or just less comfortable about their bodies in general?
Or is it just me? Because even though I find periods a pain in the arse,
they are part of being female that you get used to
and in the end, who cares, as they are not that big a deal? Most
of my female friends share the same sentiments (and they use "compact"
tampons too.). And my other half just goes with the flow (yes - a bad pun...
[I've heard it before]).
PS: Did you know that the new Goods and Service Tax being implemented
in Australia is discriminatory towards women because the
GST is on all women's sanitary items (pads, tampons), but not on condoms
and shaving cream.
Apparently, our Health Minister, Dr. Woolridge, forgot to attend that
biology class where it was explained that women have
to have periods due to our biology and we can't just magically choose not
to, but men don't have to shave their beards off or wear a condom (they
can go celibate or use another form of contraceptive).
A joke doing the rounds now is:
Q: What is the difference between the first tampon and the GST?
A: With the tampon, there were no strings attached. (Boom boom.)
Does anyone remember this Rugby song?
I visited your Web site today. While reading about the German women
leaving a trail of blood, I was reminded of
a verse from an old Rugby song, "Dinah, Dinah
Show Us Your Leg".
A rich girl uses a sanitary towel,
A poor girl uses a sheet,
But Dinah uses nothing at all,
Leaves a trail along the street.
Oh Dinah, Dinah show us your leg
Show us your leg, Show us your leg,
Dinah, Dinah show us your leg
A yard above the knee
I'm not a musicologist, so I don't know how old the song was, but it
was probably passed along through the oral tradition, and may indeed date
back to a time when sanitary towels were not commonly worn.
Old douche ads made her laugh!
After having medical problems that have caused me to have a nonstop
period for the last few months I was thrilled to stumble upon your site
and see just HOW lucky I am. I mean, a squirt or two of Lysol?
I swear I gagged with tears in my eyes over that. I
guess years ago women had yoo-hoos of iron! Yeah, what am I saying?
I can't even joke about it, my stomach is queasy.
Thanks so much, I really love your site. [Many thanks!]
It's very rare to find someone who respects the "little"
things that women just deal with time after time. Shame
and embarrassment are horrible things to have hanging over your head. I
think for years what has been mistaken for "penis envy" has actually
been "menstrual shame." [Read a letter from Australia on this
page about shame.]
Luna pads, washable:
I found your Web site very interesting and informative. [Thank you!]
However, I am a Luna pad user and I didn't find much information about
them on you Web site. They are washable pads, and they seem to be very
popular among environmentalists in North America. For more information,
go to their
Web site for menstrual products:
Just thought you might like to see this Web
site. Apparently they do still sell Modess brand pads somewhere (the
hospital size kind, too). [Some American drug stores still sell the hospital
See a Spanish site for women:
Dear overseas friends,
We are mailing to you from Spain to introduce you our women's website.
Mujerweb.com is a guide to all the women where we can find any information
of many different subjects: health, current news,
beauty, fashion, nature, studies, business, etc.
Our Web site is in Spanish, but
we will be happy to receive any suggestion or comments from you, either
in English or Spanish.
I hope you'll like it,
Barcelona 14th of January 2000
Pelai, 28 1er
SICK SICK SICK NASTY MOTHER [expletive deleted] THAT IS THE MOST VILE
AND DISGUSTING THING I HAVE EVER SEEN YOU SHOULD BE ARRESTED YOU MAKE ME
SICK HOW THE HELL IS A [expletive deleted] BLOODY TAMPON HANGING OUT A
PUSSY ART? [expletive deleted] YOU FOR MAKING ME SEE THAT. BAD BAD PEOPLE
YOU ARE ALL DIRTY BAD MONKEYS!!!
It's ABOUT TIME! Is this the new millennium? This
site has a good explanation - it walks you through, with tables yet!
According to the U.S. Naval Observatory [Washington, D.C., the timekeeper
for the U.S.A.] the end of the second millennium and
the beginning of the third will be reached on January 1, 2001 [not 2000!]
This date is based on a calendar created in 526 A.D. by Dennis the Diminutive,
the head of a Roman monastery who forged a common calendar from the divergent
dating systems of his day.
Help Wanted: This Museum Needs a
Public Official For Its Board of Directors
Your MUM is doing the paper work necessary to become eligible to receive
support from foundations as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. To achieve
this status, it helps to have a American public official - an elected or
appointed official of the government, federal, state or local - on its board of directors.
What public official out there
will support a museum for the worldwide culture of
women's health and menstruation?
Eventually I would also like to entice people experienced in the law,
finances and fund raising to the board.
Do You Have Irregular Menses?
If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome
[and here's a support association for it].
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!
New this week: Menstruation,
masturbation, fast women and good-for-nothing wives: excerpts from
three books about masturbation, women's diseases, and women's rights: The Science of a New Life, by John Cowan, M. D. (1875,
New York, New York, U.S.A.) - Plain Facts for Old
and Young: Embracing the Natural History and Hygiene of Organic Life,
by J. H. Kellogg, M. D. (1892, Burlington, Iowa, U.S.A.) - Gynecology,
by Howard A. Kelly, A. B., M.D., LL. D. (1928, New York, New York, U. S.
© 2000 Harry Finley. It is illegal
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