Non-invasive urinary device for traveling
TravelMate is a great device for women who need to pee and are stuck in traffic, tired of filthy toilets, traveling abroad, or just plain tired of baring their butts to the elements. I think it makes a great combination with the Keeper [menstrual cup].
The TravelMate, a non-invasive urinary device designed by American nurse Janet Robertson, RN, is great to have along when you're way from clean toilets.
For information: http://www.travelmateinfo.com/
Recommended by Marilynn of Guam:
"TravelMate and The Keeper are wonderful for traveling and on-the-go women! I use & recommend both."
Bebby tampon, a sponge with no string
[About a month ago a German woman sent me information about this tampon. Read more about it, below.]
The image comes from the company site
Dear Mr. Finley,
We are a body-care company from the Netherlands. We are also the inventors of the Beppy tampon. The Beppy tampon is a sponge [see more sponges] which is mainly used by women who would like to have intercourse during the period. There is no string and it is made of polyether foam. [fax, an early American tampon that preceded Tampax, also had no string.] If you give us the address of MUM we could sent you a package. We also have Europharma tampons, which contain an aseptic lubricator. [Pursettes tampon, an American brand from the 1950s-1970s, also had a lubricant.]
For more information please visit our Web site: www.asha.nl
Hope to hear from you soon!
Mission: Find the Chinese cup!
And, Why the Chinese prefer pads over tampons
[A student from Hong Kong studying at a Canadian university e-mailed me, offering to help the museum in some way. Since she will soon return to Hong Kong, I suggested she look for a menstrual cup I had heard that the Chinese made; a Canadian hospital allegedly tested it and found it wanting.]
I would love to look for information about the menstrual cup after my return. In fact, I have never heard of cups until I read your Web page [read a short history of them]. Anyway, I will try my best. The task sounds interesting.
As far as I know, Chinese do avoid using tampons. At least in Hong Kong it is not so popular. Most people use napkins [see a photo of one a Chinese male sent me]. There are several reasons for this:
1. Most people don't feel comfortable inserting an extra thing into their body. It does not sound hygienic.
2. Nowadays napkins can be very thin and comfortable. Most people are satisfied with them.
3. I faintly remember that in our sex education lesson, we learnt that virgins are not suitable for using tampons. (We had 1-3 lessons that provided information about puberty when we were in secondary school. After the lesson, we receive hygiene product samples, including napkins.) Even though my friends and I know that tampons won't hurt the virginity, but we don't feel "all right" using them. [Hispanics often feel the same way. The Tampax folks are having a hard time getting them to try their tampons. And see Japanese tampon instructions inviting readers to "enjoy tampon life." That tampon comes with plastic caps for the finger inserting the tampon, which indicates that Japanese also prefer pads.]
I have traveled China a few times and I rarely saw tampons in the grocery store.
One more thing to share. I found that most Canadian people use tampons rather than napkins. In the grocery stores, there are not many choices of napkins and most napkins are very thick. It is one of the inconveniences I encounter while studying in a foreign country. [A Japanese student at the University of Illinois once told me she had to ask friends in Japan to send her pads because the American ones were too big. She had called to offer the museum her essay on menstrual leave in Japan, something some companies still offer, a carry-over from material shortages in World War II.]
I will contact you as soon as I get the information. See you and take care.
A man of the cloth contributes a suspiciously professional expression
Firstly, please let me express my enjoyment and happiness at the candor, insight and humor your offer at your site. I'm certain it has proven and will continue to prove valuable to women everywhere. Keep up the good work. [Many thanks!]
When I was away at college way back in the 1960s, my girlfriend would, on occasion, comfort my anxieties after our once-a-month weekend visit by telling me that the "Red Sea is open" during our long-distance telephone conversations. This Biblical reference had nothing to do with my choice of vocations, I assure you. [Read more words and expressions.]
Thanks and keep on!
Rev. [name deleted]
A MAN runs this site??
[The Brazilian Ph.D. candidate who contributed her comments to the Would you stop menstruating if you could? page today later wrote me the following:]
I am entirely baffled!!! You are a man!!!!!!! [Curses! I've been unmasked!] This is very interesting, that a man would take such interest in menstruation! When I first visited your site and wrote a message about to stop menstruating or not I did not search for information on the creators of the MUM. I simple assumed they were a bunch of women trying to call attention about their own thing, if you know what I mean. But this is intriguing. I have to admit that I only began to realized that you could maybe be a man when you wrote me a message back, and I saw your first name, Harry. But even then I thought that maybe someone had named their baby girl Harry; you never know with these Americans :) [What a wacky bunch of people, those Americans!]
I really don't know what to say - Congratulations, I suppose. Most all men I ever knew had only a very marginal interest in menstruation. It's quite refreshing to find a man with more interest in such a woman's world. But would you please tell me if this project has helped you to better understand women? [Oh, yes!]
Would you menstruate once or twice if you could? [Once or twice at most. I'm happy to stay male. Women have a much more difficult life with a normally functioning body than men do, what with childbirth, menstruation, etc.] Do you talk about menstruation with your male friends? [When at all, it's almost always about the fact of the museum, rarely about menstruation itself. Men have almost no interest in it, at least the ones I know - or maybe they're just too embarrassed to ask. I didn't either until I got interest in the marketing of the products, then the taboo, then the decision to open a museum.]
Thank you for your site again and keep up the good work!!!
Balinese menstrual customs, and using human hair to stop menstruation
I wanted to say I enjoyed or am enjoying your Web site on menstruation. The thoughts and articles are interesting.
My input is from a Balinese viewpoint. I just got back from living in Bali (my nationality is Indonesian) and the ins and outs of how the Balinese regard women's blood is different, to say the least. Yes, in the temples it is a big no-no to enter but it goes further than that - the whole thing with the undergarments being taboo.
I have to find my books and get back to you on details if you are interested. [Yes!] I will contact you.
I am a homeopath by profession and have in my studies about homeopathy and alternative healings come up with some bizarre things about the flow of blood during menses - like in Chinese medicine using human hair (burnt) to stop the flow. Yes, it works.
Um, just read the letter
I am a college student doing my thesis on the effect of the knowledge that a woman poops has on evaluations of her competency. Do you have any resources for ads in the area of shame for using the bathroom? [No; does anyone out there?]
Anything you can think of would be greatly appreciated. [I'll redirect all e-mail to the student.]
Thank you, I love your site!! [Thanks!]
Thanks to MUM
Dear Mr. Finley,
I just wanted to thank you again for your invaluable assistance in accessing what has to be some of the most fascinating material available on this subject. Your gracious and cooperative nature to my queries for help is greatly appreciated.
Your Web site is a veritable wellspring of information. Today I found a wonderful (and amazingly sexist) account of the differences between early twentieth-century boys and girls.
Keep up the wonderful work.
(Another cat lover)
MUM makes her proud
Where were you when I started my period? I really appreciate the wealth of info on the history of menstruation. It really gives me a healthier mind set on the whole thing. My mom was like so many women, as being in the mind set that a period was something to be ashamed of and dirty. From this site I gleaned some pride in being a woman, and all that entails.
I also appreciate the fact that you have some modern alternatives, well, actually just revised history. But anyway there are a lot of women who do not like modern protection during their cycle and your site is most helpful.
Book about menstruation published in Spain
The Spanish journalist who contributed some words for menstruation to this site last year and wrote about this museum (MUM) in the Madrid newspaper "El País" just co-authored with her daughter a book about menstruation (cover at left).
She writes, in part,
Dear Harry Finley,
As I told you, my daughter (Clara de Cominges) and I have written a book (called "El tabú") about menstruation, which is the first one to be published in Spain about that subject. The book - it talks about the MUM - is coming out at the end of March and I just said to the publisher, Editorial Planeta, to contact you and send you some pages from it and the cover as well. I'm sure that it will be interesting to you to have some information about the book that I hope has enough sense of humour to be understood anywhere. Thank you for your interest and help.
If you need anything else, please let me know.
Belen Lopez, the editor of nonfiction at Planeta, adds that "Margarita, more than 50 years old, and Clara, 20, expose their own experiences about menstruation with a sensational sense of humour." (Later this month more information will appear on the publisher's site, in Spanish.)
My guess is that Spaniards will regard the cover as risqué, as many Americans would. And the book, too. But, let's celebrate!
Two weeks ago I mentioned that Procter & Gamble was trying to change attitudes in the Spanish-speaking Americas to get more women to use tampons, specifically Tampax - a hard sell.
Compare this cover with the box cover for the Canadian television video about menstruation, Under Wraps, and the second The Curse.
An American network is now developing a program about menstruation for a popular cable channel; some folks from the network visited me recently to borrow material.
And this museum lent historical tampons and ads for a television program in Spain last year.
Now, if I could only read Spanish! (I'm a former German teacher.)
If you had a party or created a ritual to celebrate your first period, we would be interested in hearing your story and seeing your videos, pictures.
This would be for possible inclusion in a television documentary called
Reinventing Rituals, Coming of Age in a Modern World for Vision Television, in Canada.
Series consultant is Ron Grimes, internationally recognized expert on ritual and the author of numerous books on ritual including his most recent, Deeply Into the Bone, Reinvented Rite of Passage.
These three one hour specials, Coming of Age in the Modern World; Marriage Separation and Divorce; and Birth and Death are co-production between Northern Lights Television in Toronto and Ocean Entertainment in Halifax for Vision Television Network. They will air on Vision TV, a Canadian specialty channel whose mandate is to cover multi-faith, multicultural stories about the human spirit.
Reinventing Rituals will explore exotic cultures and ceremonies that may, on the surface, bear little resemblance to the hallmarks of our own lives. We will witness dramatic initiation ceremonies from Africa, complex funerals from New Guinea, and elaborate wedding and courtship rituals from South America. Viewers will become acquainted with traditional rites from many different cultures, contemporary and historic.
However, at the core of this series are the North Americans who are exploring new ways to mark transitions. We'll meet parents who are preparing to spend their children out in the mountains to spend grueling days and nights in initiation ceremonies; individuals who are approaching the end of life determined to design all aspects of their own funerals; and expectant couples who are redefining appropriate behaviour in the birthing room. This series is about these men and women and their quest to reinvent traditional rites of passage; but it's also about the connections that can be drawn between these modern pioneers and their counterparts in other times and places.
Program #1 The Bridge: Coming of Age in the Modern Reinventing Rites of Passage.
Reinventing Rituals is a compelling series of television documentaries that explore the dramatic resurgence in ritual and how it is being interpreted or recreated in order to give meaning to our lives.
From first menstruation ceremonies to vision quests, traditional societies have used ritual to help young people mark and make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. All but abandoned by Western culture, initiation rituals are suddenly becoming more popular.
The increasing profile of street gangs, drug wars, and teenage promiscuity in our communities have contributed to rising the popularity of the coming of age rituals. Many parents fear that if they do not provide an initiation scenario their children will initiate themselves using sex, drugs or dangerous behaviour. By enrolling their children in complex and often dramatic initiation rites, families can help young people make the difficult transition to adulthood. In this program we meet youth at the National Rites of Passage Institute in Cleveland Ohio who have spent the past year in a coming of age program. And then we'll join up with teenagers who've enrolled in a 10 day-long program outside Calgary, Alberta as they prepare to spend three World
If you are interested and/or need more information, contact
Deannie Sullivan Fraser
SNAIL MAIL: Ocean ENTERTAINMENT, SUITE 404, 1657 BARRINGTON STREET, HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA B3J 2A1
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.