She loved Tassaway menstrual cup
[A menstrual cups is a small cup a woman inserts into her vagina to collect menstrual blood, and is an alternative to tampons, pads, sponges, etc. The Keeper and Instead - see the item below - represent today's choices in America. See and read about them.]
Photo of a museum cup by Harry Finley
I am a post-menopausal female. In 1970 I was introduced to the Tassaway cup and began using it. I used it the rest of the years that I had a period and LOVED it.
Although the directions on the Tassaway box indicate it is not reusable, I found that by washing the cup after each use, I could use it over and over. The only negative about it was the "loop" at the bottom for grasping it to remove it. I cut that part off because it was uncomfortable. The cup was very reliable and avoided the odor and leakage I got with other products. I never liked the tampon because when I urinated, the urine would saturate the tampon and/or wet the string, causing drippage. When I found out in 1978 that the cup was not going to be available anymore, I had a pharmacy order several boxes which lasted the rest of my life before menopause. The cup had so many advantages that I wondered why they were no longer available. Toward the end of my menstrual cycles (in 1997), I discovered the "Instead." I did not like it because I had trouble getting it positioned so that it would stay in. It was also very uncomfortable. I still have several Tassaway cups left. I would like to see a return of this product. I believe it could be promoted by gynecologists as a "revolutionary advance" for hygiene. If a physician recommends the product, possibly the woman would not be so squeamish about its use. Also, it would have to have much better marketing than it has had in the past.
[She later added,]
I also had heard some negative comments from other women to whom I recommended Tassaway cups. I believe those comments were a result of simple ignorance and/or the "shame" factor for a normal body function. Also, many people are just afraid to try something "new" that other people are not using.
I have not seen the "Keeper." I will look for them. How are the sales going? Has it been successful? Have their been any "evaluations" by users? [Read some evaluations and throughout the news pages on this site.]
I would like to see women find their way to this millennium when it come to personal hygiene. It frustrates me that attitudes stand in the way of real progress. We pride ourselves on our advances in "Equal Rights," but we are still in the dark on personal issues. I don't think it's the "dominant white male" who is responsible on this one!
Glad to hear of your efforts. Thanks.
In Vienna, in the Frauenzentrum [Women's Center], is now an exhibition of the work of Petra Paul called Female Masculinity - photos and pictures made with menstrual blood.
You can see one of her pictures on: http://www.interfemme.at/petrapaul.htm
Greetings from Vienna
[According to the link, above - the site is in German - , a gallery in Switzerland refused to show her menstruation pictures. I have asked the artist if she would send pictures for an Art of Menstruation page - see the top of this page.
[A few years ago a student in New Jersey was showing pictures about menstruation in a gallery and encountered much resistance. She called me and I called the husband of feminist artist Judy Chicago for help - see a picture Ms. Chicago donated to this museum - which he kindly did.]
Re: Genesis http://www.genesis.ac.uk
Genesis is an RSLP-funded project to develop access to women's history sources in the U.K. based at The Women's Library in London. Our Web site has a searchable database of library, museum and archive collections, available freely to anyone with Internet access.
The other main strand of our Web site is a list of Web resources for women's history, making Genesis a valuable resource to the women's history and studies community.
We would like to add a link to your site in the Genesis Guide to Sources. Please let us know if you have any objections to this, otherwise we will assume that you are happy for us to link to you.
Could you also please reciprocate by linking to Genesis from your Web pages, so that we can promote this unique Web site to our collective user group.
Please do not hesitate to contact me for more information
The Women's Library
part of London Metropolitan University
t +44 20 7320 3514
f +44 20 7320 2333
I don't know how I got to this site. I had never even asked the search engine for it or anything to do with menses! And as many times as I tried to run from it, in disgust and bad facial expressions - I couldn't. I appreciate what you are trying to do; menses is a taboo and it is something most women deal with on a monthly basis! He he he. It is also a subject we usually don't discuss. By the way, were you aware that we also give menses pseudo names such as "Granny"? [Yes, it's on the list!] Good luck in your menstrual endeavors!!!!
***, a menstruating, pre-menopausal woman!
She doesn't like Instead menstrual cup advertising!
[A menstrual cups is a small cup a woman inserts into her vagina to collect menstrual blood, and is an alternative to tampons, pads, sponges, etc. The Keeper and Instead represent today's choices in America. See and read about them.]
Two views of the Instead cup.
Photos of museum cups by Harry Finley
I have been a fan of your site for a long time now. I've read over all of the comments about Instead and the Keeper [here]. One thing that really annoys me about Instead, aside from their claim that they are the first to come up with a menstrual innovation in over 60 years, is that Instead is the only form of period protection that allows women to have "clean, comfortable sex." Sex is a lot more than intercourse and women can have "clean" sex with a Keeper or tampons too, just not intercourse. And what is so wrong with having intercourse during a period anyway? Instead seems to be making women feel almost as ashamed of their periods as tampon and pad manufacturers/advertisers do - by using the words clean and comfortable. (Ugh, and I just read the comments on their Web site from magazines, and Contemporary Ob/Gyn Magazine was the one who came up with the clean and comfortable bit! A magazine dedicated to women's reproductive health that makes menstrual blood seem dirty!) They also make a huge deal about how women can be active while having their periods if they use our product. Yes, and they can with many other products, too; Instead doesn't hold a monopoly on that.
I think the reason Instead makes the claim that they are the first menstrual innovation in so many years is that they have more of a big business attitude. The Keeper is more of a grassroots product and doesn't have marketing people and a fancy Web site, so the makers of Instead might feel that not too many people know about the Keeper and its predecessors, so they feel safe in their claims. Or maybe they have never heard of the Keeper, Tassaway, etc.
As an aside, I keep seeing commercials and reading quotes in articles about how basically, women should be hiding their periods from the men in their lives [see this example]. One Instead user claims her Significant Other didn't even notice during intercourse. Tampon and pad ads on TV always claim how discreet their packaging is. Well, if a man saw the commercial, he'd know what it was a woman was carrying in her hand on the way to the bathroom! Sorry to rant there.
*** (off to give Ultrafem, the maker of Instead, a piece of my mind!)
My name is Nicole, I'm a Webmistress of www.ovulation-calendar.com. I found mum.org when searching Google for high-quality sites about women's health.
I believe that my site can be of benefit for your audience and I would love for it to be added to your links page at http://www.mum.org/NetCon.htm.
Please be so kind as to take a look at the Ovulation Calendar Web site and let me know if you need any further information about it.
Can any one tell me what type of underwear had buttons that are called panty-waist buttons? The two holes are big. I have dug some up and the time frame could be 1850 to 1932 when they were mining for silver and gold here in Nevada.
Chrissy the digger
Dear Sirs and Madams,
For about eight years the Department of Medical Informatics of the University of Freiburg have been providing "Health Informatics World Wide," a regularly updated index of Health Informatics institutions.
Many of you have linked to our site - thank you for helping disseminate our work. For over a year our site has a new URL:
but more than hundred links using the outdated one still exist, so please check your links and change the URL if necessary.
We welcome any suggestions of new entries. If you want us to include your (Health Informatics related) institution, send us the exact name, the location, and the acronyms representing your institution's activities.
Thank you for helping us to disseminate and to maintain Health Informatics World Wide as a valuable resource.
Dr. Stefan Schulz
University Hospital - Dpt. Medical Informatics
Stefan-Meier-Strasse 26 D-79104 Freiburg
+49 (0)761 203-3252 FAX +49 (0)761 203-3251
I am writing to let you know that Morning Glory Collective, publishers of Everwoman's Calendar, has listed your Web site as a resource link for women on our new Web site at www.everwomanscalendar.com
Everwoman's Calendar is a beautifully illustrated color chart, usable for any 12-month period, that features original art, instructions, references, resources, lunar calendars and herbal remedies. Morning Glory Collective, a group of women interested in improving health and educational resources for women, published the first edition of Everwoman's Calendar in 1981. Since that time we have sold thousands of calendars to women all over the world who continue to write us letters of appreciation and personal affirmation for the value of charting their menstrual and health cycles.
In 2003 we published a new edition of Everwoman's Calendar and launched our Web site at www.everwomanscalendar.com. We appreciate the value of your Web site for women and think it is a natural fit with our calendar.
Please take a look at our site and let us know if you will reciprocate and add us as a link on your site. We would also like to be listed on your products list if possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Agnes, for Morning Glory Collective
I'm playing a local trivia contest for some good prizes.
One of the questions is: Who, on TV, first referred to the female menstrual cycle as a "period"?
Would you happen to know?
I have a bet going. Who was the first person to use the word "period" to describe a woman's cycle on television? There was a question on my local radio station and the answer has not been revealed. I had a bet with a friend that I could find out before he could.
One source said it was either Bea Arthur on "Maude" or Sally Struthers on "All In The Family."
The correct answer turns out to be Courtney Cox, they say (she plays Monica on "Friends." This show has been on TV for nine years.). I can't believe that's correct. Surely in the older days of TV, someone must have said the word "period."
Still no Miniforms
I also am a die-hard user of the miniforms and was desperate to find some once my period came back after a long long absence due to pregnancy and then breastfeeding. If anyone gives you some info about where to buy them, please pass it along ot me as well. I would only expect that you take the lion's share in the event that there are only a few thousand boxes!!
[InSync Miniform is a tiny pad - see the picture at left - that sits between the inner lips of the vulva to absorb small amounts of urine and discharge from the vagina [see drawing]. Several woman have asked me if the company went out of business - it probably has. The Web site, which was expected to have been relaunched in November, is still not up. Read the instructions and more about the pad.]
Tampon with lactic acid appears in Sweden
I want to tell you that the Swedish chain of drugstores, Apoteket, now sells a new brand of tampon called Ellen. The special thing about this is that the tampon contains lactic acid bacteria. You can see it on the Internet site www.apoteket.se, but it is written in Swedish, so see its own Web site, which has English. I will try to send a picture of the box. The normal size has a white box, the plus size has a red box.
[Lactic acid exists in the healthy vagina and helps prevent many harmful bacteria from thriving there; the Döderlein bacteria that live in the vagina make it. Menstrual blood neutralizes the acid and helps harmful bacteria grow, so there is a rationale behind the additive.]
Read more about it - it includes this museum (when it was in my house) and many interesting people associated publically with menstruation. Individual Americans can buy the video by contacting
Films for the Humanities
P.O. Box 2053
Princeton, NJ 08543-2053
Toll free order line: 1-800-257-5126
Canadians purchase it through the National Film Board of Canada.
If so, Lana Thompson wants to hear from you.
if I die before establishing the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health as a permanent public display in the United States (read more of my plans here). I have had coronary angioplasty; I have heart disease related to that which killed all six of my parents and grandparents (some when young), according to the foremost Johns Hopkins lipids specialist. The professor told me I would be a "very sick person" if I were not a vegetarian since I cannot tolerate any of the medications available. Almost two years ago I debated the concept of the museum on American national television ("Moral Court," Fox Network) and MUM board member Miki Walsh (see the board), who was in the audience at Warner Brothers studios in Hollywood, said I looked like a zombie - it was the insomnia-inducing effect of the cholesterol medication.
And almost two years ago Megan Hicks, curator of medicine at Australia's Powerhouse Museum, the country's largest, in Sydney, visited MUM (see her and read about the visit). She described her creation of an exhibit about the history of contraception that traveled Australia; because of the subject many people had objected to it before it started and predicted its failure. But it was a great success!
The museum would have a good home.
I'm trying to establish myself as a painter (see some of my paintings) in order to retire from my present job to give myself the time to get this museum into a public place and on display permanently (at least much of it); it's impossible to do now because of the time my present job requires.
An Australian e-mailed me about this:
Wow, the response to the museum, if it were set up in Australia, would be so varied. You'd have some people rejoicing about it and others totally opposing it (we have some yobbos here who think menstruation is "dirty" and all that other rubbish). I reckon it would be great to have it here. Imagine all the school projects! It might make a lot of younger women happier about menstruating, too. I'd go check it out (and take my boyfriend too) :)
Hey, are you related to Karen Finley, the performance artist?? [Not that I know of, and she hasn't claimed me!]
Don't eliminate the ten Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor
The Bush Administration is planning to propose, in next year's budget, to eliminate the ten Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor. This decision signals the Administration's intent to dismantle the only federal agency specifically mandated to represent the needs of women in the paid work force.
Established in 1920, the Women's Bureau plays a critical function in helping women become aware of their legal rights in the workplace and guiding them to appropriate enforcement agencies for help. The Regional Offices take the lead on the issues that working women care about the most - training for higher paying jobs and non-traditional employment, enforcing laws against pay discrimination, and helping businesses create successful child-care and other family-friendly policies, to name only a few initiatives.
The Regional Offices have achieved real results for wage-earning women for eighty-one years, especially for those who have low incomes or language barriers. The one-on-one assistance provided at the Regional Offices cannot be replaced by a Web site or an electronic voice mail system maintained in Washington.
You can take action on this issue today! Go to http://capwiz.com/nwlc/home/ to write to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and tell her you care about keeping the Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau in operation. You can also let E. Mitchell Daniels, Jr., Director of the Office of Management and Budget, know how you feel about this. You can write a letter of your own or use one we've prepared for you.
If you find this information useful, be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to sign up to receive Email Action Alerts from the National Women's Law Center at www.nwlc.org/email.
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." (publisher's site)
My guess is that Spaniards will regard the cover as risqué, as many Americans would. And the book, too. But, let's celebrate!
I earlier 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.)
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.