Letters to your MUM
Rastafarian menstrual customs in Jamaica
Dear Mr. Finley,
I am an American living in Jamaica for three years now, and stumbled
across your amazing Web site the other day. [Thank you!]
You mentioned that you wouldn't mind knowing about how other cultures,
especially not in the West, deal with menstruation. [Yes! Does anyone else
Jamaica has a large Rastafarian population,
and some of my friends are involved in this culture. They have informed
me that in Rastafarian culture,
females are considered unclean when they menstruate, and cannot prepare
meals for any male during this time. They also cannot get involved in or
even approach a ritual gathering of males.
In some circumstances more traditional Rastafarian women live apart
from the male, when it's that time of the month, with her other "sisters."
[Rastafarianism, according to the The
Random House College Dictionary, 1975 edition, is "a
militant black religious cult, originally of Jamaica, that regards Africa
as the Promised Land, to which all blacks will someday return, and the
late Haile Selassie I, former emperor of Ethiopia, as the messiah [<
Ras prince Tafari (pre-coronation name of Haile Selassie)
I hope this little bit of info was helpful. Keep up the great work!
Menstrual art for computers
Several weeks ago, I'd submitted a work of menstrual art with haiku
poetry [and your MUM lost it! I'm trying to get a
replacement and will set up a page for her under art
of menstruation.] around the theme of
menstruation being an ending season in a cycle.
I'm a Lithuanian/American digital/fractal artist. I was born in Brooklyn,
New York. I've lived in Colorado for over 20 years. My education is in
the field of anthropology. I worked in social services for almost 28 years
until I retired in 1999. Now I can dedicate my full time to making art
both digital and traditional art.
I'd like to move into a new area where I incorporate my digital art
into collage compositions, combining the printed digital work with various
She wishes her father knew more about
Dear Harry Finley,
I was fooling around on the Internet and I just found your site.
At first I thought it was a medical site or something, then I went
ahead and read your interesting articles.
I WAS surprised that man started the museum, but it's great thing that
I never even knew so much about menstrual products until now. I ever
knew there was a menstrual CUP!
I even told all my friends to check your site out.
One of my friends, who lived with her dad when she got her period,
said she wishes her dad knew about the site when she got it and that he
was as informed as you are about it! At least she
wouldn't have had a problem telling her dad!
Good luck with the museum and I think it's great that a guy started
it! I'll definitely visit.
Put the future museum in a mall!
Whew! I just finished viewing your site and I must say it has grown
tremendously! I believe that the last time I saw your site was in January
I adore your site and have found much to learn. I have a daughter (4
years old) who is becoming curious about my bathroom habits and I don't
want to freak her out too soon! I think that I have read enough from your
site to help me feel better about the subject. When
her big day arrives I plan to take her out on the town with my lady friends.
My husband and I will probably buy her something special like a pair of
I love the discussion about religion and menstruation.
I have been thinking that I would love to get away from the kids and husband
during my period. I bet women created the idea - or at least supported
it wholeheartedly upon its suggestion!
Keep up the good work. I think your degree is just great for what you
have created. [Read some of my fears and ideas for the future
As to where the museum should be: somewhere in a shopping or clothing
district, where women shop and lunch, so that teenage girls could roam
in casually without effort or embarrassment. What a positive effect it
would have on them! [That never occurred to me! But would MacDonald's and
Saks block it?]
Vi har registrert Norwegian Menstruation Exhibit 1 at the Museum of
Menstruation and Women's Health - http://www.mum.org/NorExh.htm på
[This the Norwegian portal address. My computer developed memory problems
when I visited - I don't know if that was just chance.]
Nettportalen er en norsk skemotor der kun norske nettsteder blir akseptert
og verifisert for kategorisering/registrering.
[It lists only Norwegian sites. Hm, maybe they naturalized your MUM
based on the Norwegian joke about blondes and menstruation
A Canadian site visitor identifies my FISH
- at last! I have been trying to find this artist's
name and something about her for years
I am sure you would like to know that her [the female artist FISH]
full name was:
Fish, Anne Harriet (Sefton) 1890-1964
There is a bit more to be found in the following link, but not much.
If you click on the gallery button below, you will find four other pieces
of art, but not much more of herself:
[then enter FISH into the "last name" box]
The following link is the Swan Collection. The number 5 is your Sick
in Bed, two nurses attending a patient you posted in the MUM site: (just
type FISH when in there):
I hope this will help a little. I must give credits to Julie Sigwart
for this though:
Julie Sigwart - HappyChaos Design and Consulting
My compliments for the site you run! I thought the world needed such
a lieu of demystification. It was a must and you filled the gap bloody
well! [Ow! That's one I'll add to the list.]
Menarche booklets from Kotex, Modess,
I was recently talking with some women friends and somehow the subject
of sex education came up. We all remembered the early
books on menstruation with surprising fondness; they were a reassuring
part of womanhood that made the transition seem important and special.
Is there any chance of finding a copy of any of these books? I am 51
years old and am especially interested in:
Very Personally Yours (1948 cover - here)
Growing Up And Liking It (1956 cover -
You're A Young Lady Now (1952 cover -
I would appreciate any information you have.
[See more here.]
Call for Submissions: "The 100 Best Things
Looking for one-liners up to three paragraphs describing a "best
thing" about menstruation: Health-related, cultural, artistic; an
experience shared with an older or younger relative, or with a partner;
a dream, political statement, joke, proverb, and/or something overheard
at a party; scientific, sexual and/or religious . . . .
Be creative, be precise,
and make it a one-liner up to three paragraphs.
The book will start out with best thing #1:
Which is a "joke" given to me by a woman in Australia - however,
I think it accurately expresses the menstruphobia most people feel, and
is a good starting point for the general audience
the book is aimed at.
From there, the book is a journey through all stages and aspects of
the lifetime menstrual cycle - and the last several "best things"
will be about menopause. So hopefully the reader will be brought full circle
- they will recognize their own menstruphobia in the first best thing,
but by the end of the book, they may be surprised to find themselves feeling
a bit . . . menstrufriendly!
Please include contact information for you and/or your group EXACTLY
as you would wish it to appear in the book - I think it will save a bit
of hassle down the road!
Any best things that don't make it into the book will be included in
a section on the Menstrual Monday Web site entitled "More Best Things
About Menstruation." I'd like the book to be
a snapshot of the worldwide menstrual movement in year 2000 - so
just like a group photo, there's going to be some adjusting and moving
people around and asking people to tilt their head a bit to the left, etc.
. . i.e., as editor of the book, I may e-mail back and ask you to expand
your best thing(s), or give some specific examples . . . so I hope that's
not going to put anybody off!!!
Here's another sample best thing:
#43. Cramping at the Savoy
I know it's traditional to lie in bed with a hot water bottle or heating
pad when one has cramps, but I can remember working in a fast-food restaurant,
and one day when I had my period, I'd worked an eight-hour shift from 6
am to 2 pm, and later that night, went dancing at 9 pm . . . I can remember
being on the crowded dance floor, and shouting up to my partner, "the
dancing's made my cramps go away!" and him shouting back (although
I could barely hear him above the music): "GOOD!!!"
So maybe the whole purpose of having cramps is to propel us onto the
Working deadline is October 1, 2000, for submissions.
Please feel free to e-mail me with your "best things," and
any questions or comments you may have!
Geneva Kachman [who has written poetry and
essays on this site and had toxic shock syndrome.
She founded Menstrual Monday.]
You have privacy here
What happens when you visit this site?
I get no information about you from any
source when you visit, and I have no idea who you
are, before, during or after your visit.
This is private - period.
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!
© 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