SEE many washable pads: Contemporary Snap-on style washable pad, Washable pad with belt. a menstrual sponge, a modern, beautiful bowl to soak used menstrual pads in. Washable pads from Almora, Uttar Pradesh state, India and Rajasthan state, India - Nineteenth-century Norwegian washable pads - Italian washable pad, probably from the 1890s - instructions for making Japanese pads, early 20th century? - German, about 1900 - 1902 & 1908, U.S.A. - German washable pads and belt, with case (about 1935-40)
Kotex ad emphasizing shame, 1992
See ads for Pursettes: September 1972 (letter testimonial) - August 1973 (letter testimonial) - February 1974 (cartoon story) - August 1974 (cartoon story) - October 1974 (cartoon story) See a 1965 ad for a Pursettes school educational kit - Pursettes Getting to Know Yourself booklet for girls - other teaching booklets: Growing Up and Liking It and How Shall I Tell My Daughter?
See Kotex items: First ad (1921) - ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Lee Miller ads (first real person in a menstrual hygiene ad, 1928) - Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (booklet for girls, 1928, Australian edition; there are many links here to Kotex items) - Preparing for Womanhood (1920s, booklet for girls; Australian edition) - 1920s booklet in Spanish showing disposal method - box from about 1969 - "Are you in the know?" ads (Kotex) (1949)(1953)(1964)(booklet, 1956) - See more ads on the Ads for Teenagers main page
DIRECTORY of all topics (See also the SEARCH ENGINE, bottom of page.)
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepage | LIST OF ALL TOPICS | MUM address & What does MUM mean? | e-mail the museum | privacy on this site | who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! | the art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | asbestos | belts | bidets | founder bio | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) | cats | company booklets for girls (mostly) directory | contraception and religion | costumes | menstrual cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | facts-of-life booklets for girls | famous women in menstrual hygiene ads | FAQ | founder/director biography | gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux | humor | huts | links | masturbation | media coverage of MUM | menarche booklets for girls and parents | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | olor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | puberty booklets for girls and parents | religion | Religión y menstruación | your remedies for menstrual discomfort | menstrual products safety | science | Seguridad de productos para la menstruación | shame | slapping, menstrual | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour of the former museum (video) | underpants & panties directory | videos, films directory | Words and expressions about menstruation | Would you stop menstruating if you could? | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

Your (Male!) Reporter's Dispatch from the 12th Conference of The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Imagine, male visitors to this site, sitting at an impressive banquet with 100 scintillating, learned people, and everyone in the room was female except for you and the waiters!

That's what I enjoyed recently in Chicago, amid arcane and not-so-arcane discussions of everything under the sun, all mixed up with a huge amount of humor.

I could not have started and survived the Museum of Menstruation without this sense of humor, folks, and I was glad to see it in many others during this dinner and in the three-day conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago. But, of course, the presentations were serious.

Prof. Martha McClintockProfessor Martha McClintock (photo at right; Harry Finley shot all three photos shown here), of the University of Chicago, who first wrote about menstrual synchrony ("the McClintock effect") as an undergraduate at Wellesley College in her senior thesis, opened the conference with a presentation called "Modeling Menstrual Cycle Changes;" and Lucinda Finley (I would be proud to claim her as a relative, but I can't), professor of law at the Buffalo campus of the State University of New York, helped end it on the third day, speaking with four other panelists about the uneasy relationship between medicine and business. On the same panel was Professor Carol Weisman, who splendidly represented Johns Hopkins, my alma mater; she's at The School of Hygiene and Public Health, probably the best such school in the world.

In those three days I picked three more members of the MUM board of directors, all under 25 years old: Stephanie Harzewski, of Rutgers University, who vastly increased my knowledge of menstrual extraction with her paper presentation; Fiona Scorgie, of the University of Natal, South Africa, who impressively dissected South African magazine advertising for menstrual hygiene, and who I hope has gotten over her laryngitis; and Advoquita Stude, a junior environmental engineering major at the California Institute of Technology, who will train her blinding intelligence on tampon development. Welcome, board, to the Museum of Menstruation! and together we will make this museum and The Museum of the Women's Health THE place to visit!

I met MUM board member Dr. Barbara Czerwinski (and her younger daughter Mary Ann), of the University of Texas, for the first time, and she lives up to all my highest expectations of wit, charm, good sense and sheer brain power. She seconded my adding young members to the MUM board. They will give energy and freshness to both museums, and, I hope, a bit of naivete. I used that latter quality to stumble along, pushing MUM into unknown thickets, mosquitoes nipping me, but reaching the village of the world public! Now for the women's health museum!

Dr. Alice DanJanine O'Leary CobbLeading the festivities at the above-mentioned banquet was Dr. Alice Dan (picture far left), new president of The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, who works with the sponsor of this 20th anniversary conference, the UIC Center for Research on Women and Gender. In the photo at near left we see the outgoing president, Janine O'Leary Cobb, president of A Friend Indeed Publications, Inc., in Montreal, Canada.

In what was sheer happenstance, Dr. Susan Love, a surgeon from the University of California, and author of Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (1990) and Dr. Susan Love's Hormone Book (1997), talked to a full house about the storm centered on the supplemental use of estrogen and other hormones, especially to treat illnesses such as heart disease and breast cancer, and also as a "treatment " for menopause symptoms. She's against it. The happenstance is that I was reading the New Yorker (9 June) article "The Estrogen Question" on the plane to the conference, which attacks Dr. Love for her stance. In part, the article says Dr. Love simply transposed two columns of statistics in making her point, and will not admit it. In the Tambrands Lecture at the conference, she said she actually used statistics from another study. I confess I am confused.

But Dr. Love's position got a good reception among many attendees. Part of the reasoning involves the acceptance of aging, not fighting it. Menopause is not a sickness, but is treated as such by many physicians and pharmaceutical companies. Estrogen does protect against heart disease in post-menopausal women (see the article in last week's Archives of Internal Medicine), but it slightly elevates the risk of breast cancer. Actually, the risk of a woman's dying from heart disease is far greater than that of breast cancer, but the statistics are complicated. But a recent visitor to MUM pointed out that all these studies were each conducted for less than eight years, not enough time to really assess what happens.

Several presentations attacked advertising for menstrual hygiene as being paternalistic, inaccurate and demeaning, but Dr. Iris Prager, of the Tambrands ("Tampax") Corporation, defended her company's ads as providing information about what her company offers, which is based upon their research on what women want. I too complain about advertising all the time, but I chirped up with a famous ad man's statement that advertising reflects society, and does not seek to change it. And what kind of ad would be acceptable? Another participant said that she does not want to stain her clothes, so why shouldn't an ad mention, or imply, that its product prevents staining?

But there was no disputing CupcakeMadness and "My Friend Is Here," Chicago performance groups which both gave a presentation about their intents (to value menstruation), and actually read poetry, sang and danced on the final day before a delighted Society. After asking who was menstruating (not me!), they rewarded those raising their hands with prizes, not common practice. They did a crisp and effective job, and I hope to publish some of their poetry here within a few weeks.

Many presentations dealt with current research in menstruation and menopause; five were given by men. This writer gave a poster presentation about MUM and his ideas about the future Museum of Women's Health.

In two years I hope to be giving you a similar report from the next conference, which will possibly be in San Francisco. I can't wait!

What Do Women Use in New Guinea?

After visiting the MUM Web site, a reader in Canberra, Australia, e-mailed this:

We were fascinated with your Web site. I found it through "The Keeper" site advertised in the Herb Companion Magazine.

Anyhow, I thought you may be interested to know that during the 70's, during my teens, my parents lived in Papua, New Guinea. My mother got friendly enough with some New Guinean women to ask them how they dealt with menstruation in the village. The reply surprised us. They said they used the coir [fiber, sometimes used to make rope, etc.] from coconut husks in place of sanitary napkins!

Keep up the good work.

I will resume bringing you medical information in this spot next week.

Did You E-mail Me in the Last Few Weeks?

Last Saturday I lost everything in my Eudora mail system, including all my e-mail addresses and messages, because of a corrupt file.

Several people sent me their experiences with products, and now they're gone. PLEASE re-send your messages! I want to put these on this News page as soon as I can! And other folks, please also mail me again!

Aren't computers just great? You can't live with them, and you can't live without them.

The New York Times Will Have a Special Section on Women's Health, Sunday, 22 June 1997. [An economics researcher at Syracuse University later told me that the Times praised the site you are reading - and it mentioned it first!]


© 1997 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute work on this Web site in any manner or medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to
See ads for menarche-education booklets: Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (Kotex, 1933), Tampax tampons (1970, with Susan Dey), Personal Products (1955, with Carol Lynley), and German o.b. tampons (lower ad, 1981)
See also the booklets How shall I tell my daughter? (Modess, various dates), Growing up and liking it (Modess, various dates), and Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (Kotex, 1928).
And read Lynn Peril's series about these and similar booklets!
See another ad for As One Girl to Another (1942), and the booklet itself.