Ed Rider, the corporate archivist for Procter & Gamble, the company that owns best-selling Always menstrual pads and Tampax tampons, generously sent dozens of boxes of tampons and other American menstrual products from the 1930s through the 1960s to this museum. It's a great and unexpected gift! Thank you very much, P&G!
Included are such tampons as LOX Theatrical Tampons [!], B-ettes, Ezo, A.C.C. Tamponettes, Cashay Invisible Sanitary Tampons (Replacing Sanitary Napkins), Secret, Dixie Belle Vams, Daints (For the Woman of Charm), Zephies Hygienic Tampons ("borated"), Sears, Tux, San-Nap-Pak, Best, Arcross and many others.
But the carton also revealed an unknown (to me, anyway) menstrual cup, Foldene; an Anna menstrual sponge in its case; and a Pad-n-all sanitary napkin, which comes attached to a belt that wraps around the thighs - it doesn't look very comfortable.
Three of these items I picture and discuss in New this week, above.
The windfall strengthens my hunch that Chicago may have given birth to the commercial menstrual tampon, as so many early tampon boxes bear addresses from that city. But why Chicago? Four years ago I plotted the locations of two 1930s companies selling very similar tampons on a map of Chicago - they were only a couple of miles from each other; now I have more to plot - maybe there's a pattern!
Tampax, just before P&G absorbed (pun alert!) the company (1997), magnanimously donated over 450 boxes of tampons and hundreds of other items from around the world to this museum, many from the 1930s, the decade commercial tampons started in America (read about this gift).
Site about vaginal exercises
A good site for addition in women's health realm:
talks about vaginal exercises to prevent and heal incontinence, stretching from childbirth, and overall better sexual fitness.
Fill us in on rolling tampons in the Outback
I wanted to send you a heads up that I read a newspaper article about the latest Survivor - the Australian Outback (reality TV show). Supposedly the women on the show had the guys rolling tampons out of toilet paper. If you could get the whole story I thought this would be a good addition to your site.
Things for mothers
My name is Feona Distler and I own Momsview.com, 1001 Free Things for Parents.
I currently get over 30,000 unique visitors a month and over 100,000 pageviews from mostly women.
I recently visited your site www.mum.org and loved all the great stuff you've brought together.
I thought that my visitors would like your site as much as I did.
Therefore, I've added your site to my links page and your page is listed on the Health page at:
Invention: Tampon and pad with a gluteal, um, wing
Have you seen this site yet? www.invention.com/brown5.htm I think the inventor fell off her rocker! My friends and I are wondering how it is supposed to help. The tampon will just open things up for a whole new mess, especially when you pull your pants down. Not to mention the butt-fin!
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.
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.