New this week: An early menstrual cup (1937, in the book The Intimate Side of a Woman's Life, by Leona W. Chalmers, Pioneer Publications, Inc., U.S.A.)

Would you stop menstruating if you could? (Many new entries)
Words and expressions for menstruation (New categories, for Canada, Pakistan and Scotland, and new American words)
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?

PREVIOUS NEWS
first pagecontact the museum | privacy on this site | art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | belts | bidets | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books (and reviews) | cats | company booklets directory | costumes | cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | famous people | FAQ | humor | huts | links | media | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | religion | menstrual products safety | science | shame | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour (video) | underpants directory | videos, films directory | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads

 

Museum "debate" on Warner Brothers airs soon

As I mentioned last week, Warner Brothers television will broadcast a "debate" between a woman critic of this museum and me on the new show Moral Court, which starts syndication 2 October in the United States and airs four "cases" a day, several days a week. We recorded it in Paramount Studios in Hollywood last Saturday morning in front of a live audience. It will air in the next several weeks, according to the producer.

I put debate in parentheses because it turned out to be something totally different. The producer told me he feared for his job after the show because of what happened (you have to see it), but his boss decided to keep it. Judge for yourself. I "won" it and a prize.

After it airs, I will explain what happened.

Having arrived in Los Angeles at 10:30 the night before, I had an almost-midnight dinner with MUM board member Miki Walsh, who lives in Hollywood, then couldn't sleep all night. The studio car picked me up at eight the next morning. I say this because twice during the show the judge had to get my attention as I drifted into Slumberland. Miki, in the audience behind me, said - I'm paraphrasing - I looked awfully tired.

Oh, at Los Angeles airport, I visited Bow Wow Meow, a store selling sculpture of cats and dogs as well as other images. Over the entrance, with other pets, presided a four-foot sculpture that looked just like my missing Maine coon tomcat, The Distinguished Service Institutional Albert Lasker Memorial Pouncer at the Museum of Menstruation, Prof. Minnie Padd. I sure miss him.


Click to increase breast cancer awareness

(No money goes to the museum or Harry Finley.)


Letters to your MUM

Tomatoes and o.b.

I was delighted to see two letters about menstruation causing problems when canning tomatoes! I mentioned this to you once before - I grew up hearing the same old-wives tale.

I also wanted to comment on the name for o.b. tampons. The company may or may not admit the connection, but "ob" is an abbreviation for obstetrician.

I always thought the name was chosen to sound "medical." Why "o.b." instead of "O.B.," "ob," "OB," or even better, "Gyn."? Maybe they just thought it looked better. "Gyn." might be just a bit too graphic. "ob" is just obscure enough, but still sounds vaguely "doctor-ish."

[I still think the German expression ohne Binde is right (yes, it is as evidenced here); why would the company conceal that? And the connection between obstetrician and tampon is weaker than with "without a belt," which is what the German means.]


Praise and a word for menstruation from Pakistan

Hello,

I'm a 24-year-old physician from Pakistan. I believe what you are doing at mum.org is amazing. [Thanks very much!] Just thought I'd add my two bits to the "Words and expressions for menstruation" from around the world.

The period in Pakistan is called "mahwari" which literally means monthly. Keeping in view my inexperience, my gender (male) and the conservative nature of our society, I am unfamiliar with the more slangish/common words. Hope this helps. [You've started a new section, Pakistan!]

Bye,

Dr [name withheld]

A Spanish woman living in Brussels supports the museum

I don't care about what other people say, I find it terrific. I have just heard about it in an article in a Spanish paper (El Pas http://www.elpais.es/p/d/20001001/sociedad/menstrua.htm). I hope you manage to make the museum. Go on and thank you very much. [Thank you! She also contributed a comment to the Stop Menstruation? page.]


Tomatoes (again), douching, and menstruation

Hello, Harry,

Your Web site (and the museum itself, which I read about years ago in the Village Voice [read about the book version of the article]) is absolutely fascinating! It appeals to me on so many levels! Politically, historically, and even esthetically. Those old ads just slay me! And, oh yeah, I'm a girl so . . . well, you know. I get my period.

I'm also a journalist and am working on a small piece about douching. Have you any idea who invented the douche? [No. I suspect it's been around for thousands of years.] I know about 3000 years ago there was some business with cow dung and honey, but the inventor of say, the contemporary douche. Man or woman? [Probably a man - just a guess.] You say on your Web site that most feminine "hygiene" products were invented by men but who were they and why in the HELL did we listen to them? [Hey, you must ALWAYS listen to m- OOPS! I didn't mean that! I'm just tired!!]

I'm also interested in the superstitions surrounded menses: my ex-boyfriend and I had a pretty heated argument about Italian women not being able to participate in certain tomato stewing rituals when they had their periods because they might turn the sauce sour.

I said this was nothing but negative and oppressive bullshit but he seems to think that it implied that women were so powerful they could turn tomato sauce bad and that there was some sort of respect attached to this. [I can see why he's an EX-boyfriend.]

I said that would all depend on other aspects of their condition, as well. Did they have a lot of power and were they given a lot of freedom and respect in other aspects of life? Or was this just a way of oppressing them and making them feel dirty? My feeling is when you are told that you can make something turn sour by virtue of a bodily function, it implies that you yourself are bad. This is not a positive outlook on the power of menstruation, it is a negative one and does not give power to the woman, but takes it away. If they had so much respect for a menstruating woman, wouldn't they want her making the sauce? Wouldn't that make it extra delicious somehow? He brought into his argument the superstition that a church elder could sour the milk of a village, thus making him incredibly powerful. Yeah, but they didn't get all freaked out by this and try to burn and oppress them, did they? Never mind the fact that neither of these parables is true!

Sorry to rave on. I really just wanted to ask you about douching. Once again, your site is fascinating and, as you can see, has sparked conversation. Congratulations! [Thank you!] This is my standard for being a successful human being. Well, that and being able to make me laugh. [Someone told me recently that every time she looks at me, she wants to laugh. I'm not sure how to take that.] Which you also did. [Great!]


Link with British dykes

Hello,

I saw your site at http://www.mum.org/ and wanted to get in touch.

The women's team at rainbownetwork.com are putting together a directory of lesbian links for our dykesdomain section. I like your site and I was wondering if you would allow us to link to your Web site. [Yes!]

Rainbownetwork.com is the largest lesbian and gay site in the UK. We've got sections on everything you could ever want - from travel to pets to cult to the latest UK and world news. We are a mixed site but we also have a dedicated women-only space called dykesdomain - which is where we plan to have a comprehensive list of links to the best lesbian sites on the Web.

All we ask is you link to us.

You can get a preview of the sort of articles we have in dykesdomain by going to http://www.dykesdomain.com

Thanks in advance,

"Cats" done by the real thing

X-Lydia and "Tom Gill Predicts" take credit for this funny piece about if cats peopled - um - did the play Cats:

"Cats" just closed on Broadway, setting the record as the longest-running show to date. The show romanticizes and shrouds in mystery the lives and habits of America's most popular pet. Yet, even with the lively dancing and popular songs, "Cats" doesn't seem to capture the true-to-life behavior of our feline companions. Below is a list of what "Cats" would have to do to more accurately portray the true essence of cats.

* Audience members would enter the auditorium only to find their seats had been clawed and covered with fur.

* The antagonist in the show would be a giant vacuum cleaner.

* Sometimes the cast would perform, but sometimes not - depending on their mood.

* Performers would leap off the stage and run up the aisles at the recorded sound of a can opener in the lobby.

* When certain audience members opened their playbills, a cast member would attempt to lie down on it.

* In the middle of a performance various cast members would curl up and go to sleep, even in the middle of a song.

* For no apparent reason, cast members would randomly run to the lobby, and then back to the stage at top speed. They would then continue as if nothing had happened.

* A special audience member would find a headless bird in his/her seat after the intermission.

* Snack bar employees would constantly be reprimanding cast members for walking on the counter.

* Open the stall door and guess who is drinking from the toilet?

* Part of the performance would include the cast climbing and shredding the theater curtains.

* The stage would be stained from someone coughing up a hairball and then eating it.

* Performers would find sand in the lobby ashtrays and - well, we don't have to draw a picture here, do we?

* The show would need to be stopped several times to allow cast members to "bathe" themselves.

* Most of the final act would consist of the cast just staring at the audience.

* The big finale would feature a giant ball of yarn, feathers on a pole, and stray strands of dental floss.

* Theater patrons waiting outside the stage door after performances would get their legs rubbed, if they were lucky.

* Cast members would never cash their paychecks, just play with them.

Here's more about cats.


Pap art exhibit starts 21 September in Delray Beach, Florida

I am writing to request your participation and assistance in an exciting and important project regarding women's health issues.

The world-renowned scientist and lover of the arts Dr. George Papanicolaou, better known as Dr. Pap, inventor of the Pap smear test, will be the subject of a special exhibition at the Cornell Museum of Art in Delray Beach, Florida, beginning September 21, 2000. The gala opening and artist's reception will be held on Thursday evening September 28, 2000. The foremost patient advocate and director of the Center For Cervical Health in the United States, Carol Ann Armenti, will be the keynote speaker.

The exhibition will run through November 12, 2000, and will feature recent works by international artist Olga Stamatiou, Dr. Papanicolaou's niece. Stamatiou's works will be available for acquisition and the profits will go toward:

1. The creation of "PAP MOBILES," vehicles that would be used to provide testing for under-served women in areas, with the highest incidence of cervical cancer.

2. The creation of a traveling multimedia art exhibition.

3. The production of a documentary film based on the life, work and scientific legacy of Dr. Papanicolaou and his wife Mary.

4. The Center for Cervical Health.

5. The Papanicolaou Woman's Corp.

Our organization "PAP" - Prevention and Protection - will have as its goal to raise awareness about women's health issues, including the importance of having regular Pap smears and the provision of information on new and existing methods for detecting cervical cancer.

The traveling exhibition, to be viewed in public spaces and museums, will be a multimedia environment drawing on and inspired by Dr. Pap's love of the arts and sciences. This environment will include permanent built-in units that will provide creative spaces for national and local women's health organizations to inform women on what is available involving health care.

The September 28th opening reception will also include international guest artists and feature a wide range of styles and media. A percentage of their work will benefit the above-mentioned projects.

Olympus Corporation of America will provide working microscopes and monitors along with technicians on opening night to demonstrate how Pap smears are read.



Washable-pad company for sale

Gayle Adams, owner of Feminine Options, wants to sell the company to someone willing to put time and energy into it. The Food and Drug Administration has already approved its products.

Call Gayle at (715) 455-1652 (Wisconsin, U.S.A.).

[See and read about washable pads.]

 


Money and this site

I, Harry Finley, creator of the museum and site and the "I" of the narrative here, receive no money for any products or services on this site. Sometimes people donate items to the museum.

All expenses for the site come out of my pocket, where my salary from my job as a graphic designer is deposited.


You have privacy here

What happens when you visit this site?

Nothing.

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:

http://psyche.usno.navy.mil/millennium/whenIs.html (that`s a capital "i" in

"whenIs")

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/AA/faq/docs/millennium.html

A comprehensive site from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich will put right any doubts:

http://www.rog.nmm.ac.uk/leaflets/new_mill.html


Tell Your Congressperson You Support the Tampon Safety and Research Act of 1999! Here's How and Why


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?

Read about my ideas for the museum. What are yours?

Eventually I would also like to entice people experienced in the law, finances and fund raising to the board.

Any suggestions?


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!

See more medical and scientific information about menstruation.


New this week: An early menstrual cup (1937, in the book The Intimate Side of a Woman's Life, by Leona W. Chalmers, Pioneer Publications, Inc.)

Would you stop menstruating if you could? (Many new entries)
Words and expressions for menstruation (New categories, for Canada, Pakistan and Scotland, and new American words)
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?

PREVIOUS NEWS
first page | contact the museum | art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | belts | bidets | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books (and reviews) | cats | company booklets directory | costumes | cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | famous people | FAQ | humor | huts | links | media | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | religion | menstrual products safety | science | shame | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour (video) | underpants directory | videos, films directory | washable pads | LIST OF ALL TOPICS

privacy on this site

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 to hfinley@mum.org