MUM "debate" airs Friday, 17 November (2000) on Warner
Producer Dan Holten called me to say that the episode
of Moral Court
on which I appear, the television program on which I
almost had a debate about this
museum, shows this coming Friday. In
the Washington, D.C., area, unless programs get switched
around, it'll appear
at 2 p.m.
One of the charms of the show will be seeing my fading
in and out of
consciousness (almost); twice the judge had to get my
attention. I hadn't
slept the night before and was feeling the effects of
Lipitor, which can
cause insomnia and which showed my inability to take
statins. What a way
to debate, right? But as it turned out, I didn't have
opponent walked out during the taping, producers
chasing her, all of which
will appear before your very eyes on your screens!
Letters to your MUM
Companies do not add asbestos
I again received an e-mail claiming that
manufacturers put asbestos in tampons to make women
bleed more and give them cancer, etc.
[Dr. Philip Tierno, Jr., of the New York
University Medical School and Director of Clinical
Immunology and Microbiology at the NYU Medical
Center, an authority on the safety of menstrual
products and a member of the board
of this museum, writes that companies
do NOT put asbestos in tampons. Read his
statement. Dr. Tierno has opposed the
menstrual products companies in many lawsuits and
his research is not financially supported by the
How food influences menstruation
I'm a graduate student in women's studies at
Towson University in Maryland. In my reproductive
technologies class we learned that although late
menarche (one's first period) can be a result of
malnutrition, as you mentioned on your Web site, it
can also be a sign of low body fat and therefore of
For instance, when agriculture became
domesticated, we began eating fatter meat and
grazing (which is exercise) less and getting our
periods earlier and for more years. The more years
of menstruation without interruptions (from
childbearing, for instance, but also from
contraceptives that lighten menstrual flows), the
higher risk of reproductive cancers because of the
constant surge of hormones. Many hunter-gatherer
societies were/are not malnourished but have ample
diets; they simply delay menstruation and have less
regular menstruation because they nurse their babies
on demand (whenever the child is hungry) and
exercise every day when finding food.
Also, it is now possible to
predict the age of one's menarche from one's body
fat content at age 5. The higher the body fat, the
longer span of years menstruating. [And last week
a news item appeared, indicating that underweight
babies have an earlier menarche, on the average.]
Takoma Park, Maryland (U.S.A.)
Later she wrote:
Thanks for dedicating a whole museum to what
seems sometimes to dominate my life yet at the
same time is so hush-hush! Silly, ain't it?
Again, my Slovenian correspondent disputes premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
(read her first letter, the second one below this one)
I am shaken upon hearing about women who dislike
their bodies and inherently detest menstruation.
[Read some MUM visitors'
feelings about this.] I consider it fun. To me
the so-called PMS is extra energy and it is up to
each individual how she uses it. Some choose to
believe it a negative and painful thing. I have
never experienced any kind of pain in connection
with it whatsoever.
Looking forward to hearing from you again.
[Later in the week she wrote again, having seen
my comment that many women must be lying]
I saw that comment!!! [See the letter below this
I never said they are faking it. I think they
perceive the sensations they have before and during
menstruation as pain and many think menstruation is
at best annoying and must be put up with. This is
the way they were taught. Or just observed behavior
of the other adults when they were little. Their
subconscious just picks up the signs and their
bodies dutifully play the part.
I also saw those ads in the humor section. I would
just like to slap silly the people who write those
things. Those kind of ads are a downright invitation
to butt-kicking. They add a lot to the insecurities
of young girls. They read them and they believe that
menstruation is a messy, embarrassing, painful thing
that should remain hidden. How fortunate that the
benevolent companies are willing to SELL them those
Based on my experience it goes a little like this:
"Hey, women. Our (hired by the company)
scientists have done research that revealed that
your bodies are defective. That after thousands of
years of evolution you need our help. How
fortunate for you that we are here to SELL you
these great new still experimental pills. And how
about that awful odor?! Do not let yourself get
embarrassed! BUY our products today for only
Young impressionable minds fill in the blanks.
Drop me a line sometime!
[Her first letter:
[I have seen your site about menstruation. It
contains a lot of useful information and humorous
things. But what is it with PMS and cramps?!! Not
to mention all the recipes for home-made medicine.
[There is no such thing as
PMS and painful menstruation. You should
not mislead the young girls in Western cultures
[(my comments: The writer is from
Slovenia, a country lying near Austria, Italy
and Yugoslavia. An awful lot of women must be
Buy the book Moon Days, about menstruation
Just thought you'd like to let people know that
the book Moon Days: Creative
Writings about Menstruation is now
distributed through Ash Tree Publishing, 1-800-
356-9315 [a phone number in the U.S.A.]. Thanks!
Cassie Premo Steele
Editor, Moon Days
MUM in medical directory
Your site has been approved and added to
the med411 database. [Many thanks! But if you have a not
up-to-date browser, you may crash because
of Java when you visit the site]
[Elsewhere on that site we read,
Criteria for selection include:
* Content of interest to healthcare
* Tone and presentation maintained at a
* Site structure, navigation and graphic
design executed at a professional level
* A high level of integrity and
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
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
2. The creation of a traveling multimedia art
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
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