New this week: More from Safe Counsel/ or/ Practical
Eugenics, by B. G.
Jeffries, M.D., Ph.D., J. L. Nichols, A.M., Ozora S. Davis, Ph.D., and Dr.
Emma F. A. Drake (39th edition, 1928, J. L. Nichols & Co., Naperville,
Illinois, U.S.A.) - humor
Read the Menstruation Article in the 13
March New Yorker Magazine!
The article is "John Rock's Error," which discusses the book
I reviewed last year, Is Menstruation
Obsolete?, and the research of Beverly Strassmann, of the University
of Michigan (U.S.A.), who spent 2.5 years among the Dogon tribe of Mali,
in Africa. I mentioned her research a few years ago in these news pages.
Basically, the article maintains that menstruating
around 400 times a lifetime, as many Western women do, is very unusual as
far as history is concerned, and not good for women. And the inventor
of the contraceptive pill, John Rock, thought that the pill should not be
taken a short while each month to allow for menstruation - something based
on his Catholic belief and now regarded by
some researchers as not necessary and as burdening a woman's body.
Strassmann's research among an African people using menstrual huts convinced
her that so much menstruation in the West is stressing women's bodies, something
they were not designed to handle, and which women didn't handle up to about
a hundred years ago, when roughly 100 periods a lifetime were much more
I'll have more about the article in the 12 March News update.
Letters to Your MUM
An Australian sends information about Modess and Ultra Thins
I noticed that one of your readers
complains that Ultra Thins [pads] are ineffective and to some extent she
has a point.
Having used both Modess pads and more recently Ultra Thins, Ultra Thins
are great for a slower flow. They are more absorbent and seem to hold the
"mess" better, i.e., once absorbed they do not leak. Unfortunately,
if you have a particularly heavy flow or clots, the Ultra Thins do not
work well and you experience what this lady experiences.
Modess tends to work well for heavy flow provided you change them often
and don't mind the bulk. If you use them with the Modess panty [there will
be pages of the museum's panties in the future, but here's what we show now] they are fine, but only if you don't get
a rash from the 100-percent plastic gusset! As with the belts, the pads
tend to move around leaving (you guessed) a mess!!
You can still buy Modess at supermarkets in Australia but surprisingly
enough you can only get the belts and panty at chemists [drugstores in
Americanese]. Most chemists need to order them in as they are not a popular
item. In fact many young shop assistants do not have a clue what a Modess
belt is [many kinds of belts.]!!!
One product that I have found to be good is Cottons Ultra Thins (www.cottons.com.au, but
be careful: it seems to be a site you can't leave by using the back button).
I don't know if you can get them in the U.S. but they work well.
Another product your reader might try is cloth
pads - bulky but extremely absorbent. Also no nasties since they are 100-percent
cotton. In Australia we have "Rad Pads" (from Radical Pads).
If you want I can scan one (clean of course) and the instructions. [Good!]
I have been using Instead for
about a year now. I think it's a wonderful product! It's very comfortable,
easy to use, and even though I believe they recommend not using them for
more than eight hours I have rinsed and reused them during an entire cycle
(not that I recommend it to all; use your own discretion).
I am currently considering trying The Keeper
[Web site] but
where Instead only cost me $2.00 (U.S.) to try, the Keeper would cost me
$35.00 (U.S.) to try, so I am more hesitant there. [But The Keeper has
a three-month money-back guarantee.]
A local store has been selling these for a few
months and though they were more pricey than
buying them directly from Vinnie, I'm an impulse buyer and
I made the purchase.
I love the odd art and the case is perfect. I
use o.b. and thin liners, so they fit perfectly.
And I love the chart keeper, especially the "game" on the back
where you guess when your next period is and
you are encouraged to share results with your friends.
I used to slip my "product"
from my bag into my sleeve or pocket to hide it as I walked to the
restroom, but now I proudly carry my Vinnie case
and show it off to my friends. And I even
have my name written inside.
I think it's a great idea, and if someone would
manufacture these in other colors and styles (I don't think applicator tampons would fit very well,
though I could be wrong) they would have a wider
BTW: I love the online museum! Fascinating stuff.
I haven't had time to explore everything,
but I'll be back! [Great!]
Can she find menstrual sponges in Canada?
I recently read Inga Muscio's "Cunt" (an insightful book
I hope you've heard of [yes]) and she mentions using sea
sponges instead of tampons.
I clicked on the sponges section of the museum,
but it didn't make any mention of any producers or stores that may sell
them. I'm investigating various approaches to traditional pads and tampons
and am interested in finding out all I can about a product that is entirely
natural and (according to Ms. Muscio) safe. [Read the MUM safety
section about sponges.]
Please, if you know any information regarding where I could locate
these sponges, let me know. I've looked in every pharmacy in my area and
called Blood Sisters in Canada, but I've been extremely unsuccessful thus
far. [Can anyone help her? I'll put
your letters here.]
Celebrate the First Annual Menstrual
Monday before Mother's Day, because menstruation comes before motherhood
(and usually long after it, too). This year's Menstrual Monday falls on
May 8, 2000. If you live in a country that
doesn't celebrate Mother's Day as in the United States, pick a day that
seems appropriate and convenient for a "Menstrual Monday"!
Where: In your backyard at sunrise;
in the cafeteria at lunch; after work; at your friend's house; in the classroom;
in your dorm room - wherever is convenient and appropriate!
Why: To create a sense of happiness
and fun around menstruation; to encourage women to be proactive in addressing
menstrual and reproduction-related health issues; to encourage greater visibility
of menstruation culturally, in film, print, music, and other media; and
to enhance honesty about menstruation in our relationships.
How: Wear a red article of clothing,
put a red tablecloth on the table at dinner; talk to an older or younger
relative about her menstrual experiences; create some art or do some writing
about menstruation, and share with friends; share information about PMS,
endometriosis, or self-breast examinations; create a ritual involving red
candles and red tulips. In short: Whatever seems convenient and appropriate
Free Starter Kit!
Please feel free to download the above text to
make flyers or post on your own website, to email
a friend, and so on. For more information,
or to receive a FREE Menstrual Monday "starter
kit" - please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or write, with your address:
4881 Packard #A2
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
A friend e-mailed me this announcement:
While there are many things you could do on April 1st and 2nd, do them
in Harrisonburg, Virginia (U.S.A.)! (More
information at the bottom of this news item). Here
is what you should do: come to the ANTI-TAMPON
conference. It is also known as the Mid-Atlantic
Feminist Conference, and some like to call
it the LetBloodFlow Fest, but don't get scared off by the name before you
read the description.
This conference is a feminist conference which
will focus on activism, radical change, and
womyn's empowerment. It is being held in order
to make the anti-tampon campaign more cohesive
and powerful. It will make everyone more powerful
with education, inspiration, workshops and
During this conference:
*Inga Muscio, author of the amazing book, Cunt,
will make a presentation and will give workshops.
To find out more about her go to http://www.kalikunti.com/
"Cunt does for feminism what smoothies did
for high fiber diets - it reinvents the oft-indigestible into something
sweet and delicious." - bust magazine
*The Blood Sisters, menstrual activists and creators
of Urban Armour and the zine Red Zone from Montreal
will do presentations, and a workshop or two. check
out their website http://www.pirg.ca/~bloodsisters/
*Lynn Lough, the owner of the beautiful goddess-centered shop On My Wings, and creator of "Goddess
Girls . . . an alternative to scouting," will
give workshops on goddesses and spirituality
*The Queens of Periodia will do workshops on
making menstrual pads and decorating yourself
with a message (tampon crown making)
*Sue Spivey, amazing feminist teacher and professor
of sociology, will do a workshop exploring
the way healthcare has gone from midwifery
to the present medical industry and another
workshop on an overview of radical feminism
*A double workshop on men in feminism given by
Rus Funk, the author of "Stopping Rape:
a challenge for men." The workshop will
examine how patriarchy has affected men and
how it hurts womyn and then will go on to
things that can be done to change those patterns.
it will explore men's role in feminism and ways
to actively fight sexism.
*We will discuss the campaign and where it is
going, brainstorm new actions, collaborate
with plans, provide and share materials, pamphlets,
*We will help plan and prepare for the direct
action that will occur at a tampon plant in
*We will show Born In Flames, an awesome video
about womyn becoming revolutionaries (they
take over NBC aw, yeah!)
*We will have a cunt-coloring contest
We are still working on confirming the following
*Menstrual extraction given by herbalist Sister
Zeus, who's expertise lies in this area
*Zine-making given by Mike Schade who has a really
cool activist-and-hardcore-oriented zine called
hodgepodge *Herbal solutions/help
for "PMS" also given by Sister Zeus
*A film/presentation by the Lesbian Avengers
*Radical cheerleading *Art
action *Chip mills, rayon and how by using
tampons you are supporting forest devastation
*Pelvic self-examinations *Self-defense
*Abortifacients, reproductive choices and rights
*Animal rights and feminism *Womyn
and globalization *Direct action *Nonviolence training *A
sex-positive workshop *Deep ecology/ eco-feminism
*Forced sterilization and how racism plays out in
birth control, given by Dr. Nikitah Imani
As we get confirmations and new additions they
will go up on our soon to be up Web site.
I will send out the address when it's done.
We are still taking proposals for workshops,
especially if you can do one of the above
topics. proposals/questions should be directed at
email@example.com or 540-438-1369 (Kristin).
Where is it? Harrisonburg,
Va., which is 2 hours southwest of Washington, D.C.
When is it? April
1st and 2nd (registration and party, March 31st)
What else? Housing
will be provided, vegan
breakfast and lunch will be provided, a bike library will be
provided, there will be a musical
performance (possibly by bitchandanimal and/or
thea - they both rawk!) and
possibly massage therapy/energy work will
How much? As of right now looks like $10
registration fee and maybe a few more for food .
. . if you cannot afford this price we still
want you to come so we will work some thing
out, just let us know!
For info about the anti-tampon campaign and the
related issues go to the blood
sisters address given above
To support the campaign and the conference you
can buy silkscreened patches for donations
of a dollar and up by sending SASE and moola
- money - to Equal, James Madison University,
P.O. Box 8166, Harrisonburg VA 22801
Choose either "FUCKATAMPON," "ANTI-TAMPON
ask me why," or "SEX+" (for
a sex positive world)
Registration Form: Please copy this form and
send it with your money to us at James Madison
University, P.O. Box 8166, Harrisonburg VA
22801 or email it back
Do you need housing? ____Fri ____Sat
Do you need meals? ____Sat. Breakfast ____Sat.
Do you need child care? ___________
Would you/your organization like to purchase
a literature table? __________ ($20)
Conference Costs: $8 Pre-Registration til March
Total $$$ Amount included:__________________
(or you may pay at the registration table)
Is this the new millennium or even century?
You can get the correct information
if you go to these pages published by the U S Naval Observatory:
A comprehensive site from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich will put right any doubts:
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: More
from Safe Counsel/
or/ Practical Eugenics, by
B. G. Jeffries, M.D., Ph.D., J. L. Nichols, A.M., Ozora S. Davis, Ph.D.,
and Dr. Emma F. A. Drake (39th edition, 1928, J. L. Nichols & Co., Naperville,
Illinois, U.S.A.) - humor
© 2000 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