Australian company wants you to fill out femfitz survey
Thanks for placing my letter [right after this letter] on your Web page. We now have a new e-mail address. Copy of femfitz survey is attached.
(Read her first letter:
I have just spent the entire evening browsing through MUM. I was led to the website through the latest issue of the Aussie Dolly Magazine.
At the moment, I am in the process of researching and developing a new style of menstrual brief (you see they have given use wings but we are not able to fly, due to the fact that they are visible to the outside of our crotch), or am I the only women who feels like this? This, along with a few other problems gave way to a new innovation for a sexier style of brief. A women wants to feel secure, safe and another word you care to use but most of all she wants to feel like a women and if you look (which you obviously have) at what creations have gone before it's no wonder they didn't succeed.
For any new product to be successful it should be proven that there is a significant market. I would like to ask if you would be prepared to run a copy of the following survey at MUM to assist me in seeing whether or not my idea is worth pursuing.
Congratulations on a fabulous website.
She likes Instead menstrual cup, and proffers advice about my (formerly) sick cat
I hope the cat's doing well. [My cat Wix had a bladder infection; he acts OK now.] Keep an eye on him since that bladder infection can be dangerous. I don't want to scare you, it's just that we lost a wonderful fellow to the same ailment this last winter. So make sure the antibiotics are taken. I know what a fiasco that can be! He's in my prayers. [Many thanks!]
I'm the "mother" of 3, and I couldn't imagine life without them. Monsters that they are from time to time =)
I wrote awhile back about Instead, and you had lost quite a bit of information due to some computer glitch.
So anyway, I just want to say how much I like them.
Yes, they leak a bit, but only when I urinate. And I only have to use a panty liner for the rest of the time!
I'm glad to have found them. I also joined the Instead Club.
You can sign up at the Web site. They sent me six samples, and a video which I haven't had time to look at yet; also some literature.
I'm not crazy about the fact that the product isn't biodegradable. It's certainly better than putting a wad of bleached material inside you. Which I have come to intolerate. I don't know why, but Instead does suit me best.
Well, thanks for your time.
[The manufacturer gave the museum a dress made from Instead cups, worn on important occasions by the inventor. Read users' comments about Instead and another cup, the Keeper.]
Origin of the play "Even the Queen"
I was re-visiting your excellent site last night for the first time in a while, and noticed a reference to the menstruation-themed play "Even the Queen." The link provided has now changed subjects, so I'm not sure whether this information would have originally been contained there [it was play dates, cast information, etc.] the play must have been based on Connie Willis' short story of the same title, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula in 1992/1993. It's nice to see the topic becoming mainstreamed in the formerly male-dominated world of science fiction. Originally published in the April '92 "Asimov's," the story has been collected in several anthologies since then. A half-hour audio performance of the play is also available for download from audible.com and Amazon.com.
I don't have any association with any of the above except for buying a lot of stuff from Amazon; just thought the information might be helpful/interesting to you and my fellow Web site visitors. [Thanks!]
A Russian girl tells all!
I'm a 15-year-old student from Russia.
Your site is fabulous! I've never come across anything like that and . . . I just can't find suitable words to describe my amazement! I visit mum.org at least twice a month and always find something new. Humor and Women's Opinions on Menstruation are my favourites.
So, about quitting menstruation [read also Would you stop menstruating if you could? ]. I started my periods about two years ago and I've never faced any problems like cramps or headaches.. I mean my periods never bother me unless it's time to go the beach or something. In this case I'd willingly take a pill that would prevent menstruating but only if I don't have any health problems in the future.
In Russia people have quite a lot of different phrases for menstruation [see also Words and expressions for menstruation].
1. In school we have physical training (PT) lessons and if we have periods we can miss them (I mean PT lessons). That's why we, girls, call it VREMENNOEE OSVOBOZHDENIE (the translation is "temporarily free from visiting PT")
2. Official names are MENSTRUATSIJA or MESIACHNIJEE
3. We also say IA TEKU, which means "I'm flowing"
4. I sometimes call it SCHASTLIVIJEE DENKI ("happy days") or LUBIMAYA NEDELIA MESIATSA ("favourite week of the month") when I joke with my friends on this topic
5. Sometimes my friend says U MENIA DELA (which can be translated as "I'm busy" or "I've got THAT stuff now").
6. Menstruation is also called ZHENSKIJEE DELA ("women stuff")
I guess that's all I can remember for now. I hope it will be useful for you! [You started the category for Russia!]
Bali puberty and menstrual customs
An Indonesian writer returned from Bali wrote two weeks ago, promising to tell us something of the customs there. Here's her report.
One of the most fascinating cultures is that of the Balinese.
The people are 99 percent Hindu; this is a separate form from that of India's Hinduism, Anaism. Most all ceremonies, sacrifices, offerings and rituals from the past still exist today.
Maggah daa, the puberty ceremony, is an elaborate ceremony for the virgin girls of Bali. It's a marriage with Semara-Ratih, the bi-sexual symbol of sexuality union. Semara-Ratih is also a symbol for beauty, curing illness, and chasing away evil.
Offerings are made to purify the body, and ward off evil - 'sayut sabuh rah' (the spattering of blood).
Blood is used in Bali for sacrifices called "caru." Used in offerings, this spilling of blood is considered essential.
Palm wine, palm brandy, rice wine, water and blood represent the five liquids in the body, the lymph system, gastric juice, bile, serum, blood.
In the microcosmos the use of these benefits balance and harmony.
Menstrual blood renders a woman ceremonially unclean; she is not allowed to enter the temples.
Clothing, particularly that which has touched the sexual organs, is charged with dangerous powers (considered impure). Menstrual blood is especially magically charged; bloodstained clothing must be kept from any site of human activity.
The impurity of undergarments has nothing to do with "dirty"; it pertains to forces associated with procreation, birth, and reproduction.
The genitals should not be placed above another's height in a room; to lean over or step over another person is also never done.
Sitting on a pillow is never done if it's used for sleeping because this puts impure parts in contact with where the head normally rests.
Great care must be taken to hang undergarments away from walking traffic; it's taboo to walk underneath.
(Reference: Sekala and Niskala, volumes one and two)
Hope you enjoy the info.
Yes, you can help build the world's largest vulva
If we build her she will come! And that's what we're doing at Vulva University. I hope you will support our efforts to create our Giant Vulva float for the 2001 San Francisco Pride Parade taking place on Sunday, June 24, 2001. Everybody is wild about the idea! For more exciting details about what we're doing, go to http://www.houseochicks.com/float.html
Vulva University seeks to liberate female sexuality through knowledge. We are a web based educational clearing house which offers free classes, discussion boards and links to other positive learning resources. Each semester, Vulva University delivers a course load taught by leading sex educators. Check us out at http://www.houseochicks.com/vulvauniversity/vu.html
Last year, the attendance to the parade was estimated to be 700,000 people and it was televised with a repeat broadcast on the WB network. The world's biggest Vulva will surely attract lots of attention from TV, print and electronic media. And we are sure to place if not win for the "Best Float" award. Your name will also be added to the "sponsor list" we supply for the broadcast.
Your kind and generous support of our float will help us make our mission more visible. In return for your sponsorship we will birth your company name/logo from our vulva during the parade as well as put your name on our printed hand outs. If you donate $1000 or more, we will print your name on the skirting of the float as well. We are printing 150,000 stickers to hand out during our march down Market Street.
Below is our tiny budget, please honor your mom, gramma, sister or friends with (or those who wish they had) a vulva by your support of the world's biggest vulva coming to a reality.
building & materials/truck 3500
float/parade fees 300
labor/volunteer appreciation 1250
5% for fiscal agent 350
Any amount will help. All of it would be a miracle!
The Harvey Milk Institute has generously agreed to be our fiscal agent as our non profit status is still pending.
Make checks payable "The Harvey Milk Institute". (Write "re: Vulva University" on the memo line of your check.)
OR Call the Harvey Milk Institute at (415) 552-7200 to make your donation by Mastercard or Visa. (Mention it is for Vulva University.) Harvey Milk Institute 584 Castro St, PMB 451 San Francisco, CA 94114 HarvMilk@aol.com, tel: 415.552.7200, fax: 415.552.0179 www.harveymilk.org The Harvey Milk Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Your MUM inspires the writer, and vice versa
I own a Texas chatroom on IRC and today someone was talking about a lady on the news that lost both her legs and several fingers from using a tampon. The person who mentioned it seemed actually surprised and had never heard of TSS [toxic shock syndrome, which is almost unheard of today when caused by tampons, as tampon companies have responded to the ca. 1979-80 catastrophe of TSS with improvements. Read more about menstrual products safety.]. I thought that was rather interesting since most all women have heard of it. It seemed as strange to me as if I did not know what prostrate cancer was.
Anyway, someone posted the URL to your site in the channel so I checked out your site. I was very impressed by your courage and drive to go against any family you might have left by going after something that you want. You seem like a very strong person and I hope that it all works out for you. I don't really have anything to contribute, but I just thought that hearing some encouraging words from someone that believes in your goal might make the day go by a bit easier. It is people like you that give other people the courage and strength it takes to go after what they want and succeed in life.
It has been a struggle for me, my whole life to fit in somewhere and accomplish my goals. Finally I am at a place of peacefulness and things are going well for me. I know that this has nothing to do with your site really, but I just want you to know that some of your words really touched me and that I highly encourage you to keep striving forward. I will continue to view your site. I actually do graphic design and Web development so if there is anything that I can do to contribute to your site, please let me know. [Thanks! I will.] I will be sure to add your link to my personal site before it is completed.
Continue on being an inspiration to others:) [Thanks for your nice comments, and I wish you continuing luck!]
Your MUM inspires the writer, and vice versa, Part 2
I've been coming to your site for quite some time. Every time I think I've explored it fully, I find there's a whole other level I had missed. It's like a labyrinth, but that's part of what makes it great. [Many thanks! The euphemism to describe its creation is "organic," whatever that means, but it just develops as the weeks go by and I try to keep it somewhat organized. It's an endless subject.]
I had no idea you'd been criticized and certainly not to the point that it's affected your relationship with members of your family. That's a damn shame. [Things have gotten better as my family has seen that it's is a serious endeavor, and that I have not indeed disgraced the family name, as one member repeatedly told me. That was my low point, and I mean low.]
I understand why some women would think, "What does a MAN have to say about menstruation that I want to hear?" or "Who does he think he is?!?" And, in general, I might be inclined to agree. But that's because I've found men, for the most part, to be ignorant of menstruation and/or repulsed by it. This is probably most women's experience with men in relation to menstruation. [You're talking about me for the first 45 years of my life. Menstruation was only an unspeakable nuisance to me as a male, as it is for a lot of women, until I began to look at the marketing of its products and its history.]
BUT! You are different. Spending five seconds at your site is all that's necessary to see that you aren't one of those men who dismiss the importance of menstruation to women or who thinks it's "icky" (I'm a woman and sometimes I think it's icky). [One thing I've learned is that women have many more concerns than men do when it comes to their bodies. In this respect, men have it easy.]
It's an honor to visit a site as well-presented, exhaustive, and fair as yours. It makes no difference to me that you're a man. If anything, it gives me hope. [Many thanks!]
I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your site and your efforts to chronicle the history of menstruation. Please don't be discouraged by your detractors. [I try not to.]
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.