New this week: The Art of Menstruation: Judy Chicago's Red Flag - DIRECTORY OF OTHER TOPICS

Call Your Congressman About the Proposed Tampon Safety and Research Act! Here's How and Why.

Judy Chicago Gives Famous Artwork to MUM

The foremost feminist artist in the world just donated her 1971 print Red Flag to this museum.

The controversial photolithograph - and Judy Chicago's work is often controversial - pictures a woman removing a tampon. It has upset many viewers for the past 27 years, and will continue to disturb onlookers as long as the mind can see.

Here's how your MUM got so lucky: Miki Walsh, board member of this museum, met Ms. Chicago when the artist spoke at Syracuse University, in New York, this winter. Discovering that Ms. Walsh was affiliated with MUM, she immediately offered the print to this museum.

Ms. Walsh was almost speechless! Your MUM is completely thankful!

Coincidentally, two weeks ago Amy Shutt called me and said she was encountering much resistance to the exhibit of art about menstruation she was curating in Bradford, Massachusetts, U.S.A., to satisfy her senior thesis requirement at Bradford College. I called Through the Flower, Judy Chicago's nonprofit organization in New Mexico, for help. Ms. Chicago kindly sent her a letter of support, and Donald Woodman, head of the nonprofit, and Ms. Chicago's husband, gave Ms. Shutt some practical advice about controversial artwork, a topic he is familiar with.

Ms. Chicago created The Dinner Party, Birth Project, Holocaust Project, and Menstruation Bathroom. You can see the recent re-installation of the latter in Los Angeles in the Canadian television film Under Wraps (it also shows your MUM, MUM board member and menstrual safety expert Dr. Philip Tierno, Judy Blume, Tamara Slayton, and many other people involved professionally with menstruation), which you can buy from the Canadian distributor, Great North. Starry Night Productions, the all-woman Canadian group in Vancouver which made Under Wraps, is making a film about Ms. Chicago's career.

Through the Flower invites you to write them at 101 N. 2nd Street, Belen, New Mexico, 87002, U.S.A., or phone (505) 864-4088. Don't be shy. And now they have a Web site:

The artist has also written her autobiography, among other publications.

See some other recent donations to MUM.

Letters to Your MUM

"You don't have to perpetuate those stereotypes on your site."


I'm excited to find your site; it's pretty darn cool.

However, I was really put off by your comment about 'far left feminists' and 'lesbians' alienating potential visitors of the site or museum. I am both and have been able to avoid alienating women, men, beyond, straight, gay, bi, transgendered, black, white, brown, red and/or yellow. Of course, there are people who will be alienated just because of their own stereotypes. But you don't have to perpetuate those stereotypes on your otherwise fantastic Web site.

Thank you for hearing me out. Also, my name is not Catherine Riggs and that is not my e-mail address, FYI (I'm not expecting a reply, but just so you know.)


I said that because I believe it to be true. I earn my living with a conservative government organization, and if one can speak of The American People, a term I hate and which every politician abuses, The American People are intolerant of both groups you mention. (Read the article on these words in the 20 April The New Yorker magazine).The silliness of the phrase is that the American people are extraordinarily diverse; it's amazing, but wonderful, that this country hangs together. I think that what I have, as an American, is too good to lose, and improves through constant discussion and adjustment.

Many of the visitors to MUM are lesbian and/or far-left feminists, and I, as a heterosexual, somewhat-left male, have learned in MUM as much as any visitor, especially about people and what they think and feel.

If this museum ever sits on the busy street corner of a large city, which is my goal, my happiest day will be when an average person - you know who I mean - with spouse and child, gasps at the MUM sign and decides to go in, leaving two hours later excited with a woman's world only whispered about on our globe.

Kant was right when he said that teachers should aim at the average student, because the superior will teach themselves, and the slow ones will hardly learn at all.

Make an analogy of Kant's belief and apply it to people's attitudes toward this mueum. Certain feminists, certain lesbians, and certain other people, me included, think MUM is terrific and must continue and get better. Certain very conservative folks think this museum and its director - me - are awful, and the whole thing should end.

That leaves a huge middle section of the population, who are in many ways undecided. The museum should be directed to these people. Of course, the museum's collection and displays should be at the disposal of every group, but preaching only to the choir is a waste of time.

A male German university student e-mails:

Regarding the phrase Tante Rosa aus Amerika: Here's another one: Tante Rosa aus Bad Rothenfelde. Or: Tante aus Bad Rothenfelde. In Germany, you will find synonyms for menstruation which have one constant: the words Rosa or Rot (pink and red). I am convinced that every woman will understand another woman when she says something cryptic like the phrase above, if it contains the words Rosa or Rot. I have to mention that Rosa is a Christian name in Germany, the short form of Rosemarie or Rosalinde.

About Consumer Reports: The German equivalent is TEST, a magazine published by the Stiftung Warentest [Products-Testing Foundation] in Berlin.

I am surprised to find so much about Germany [hey, the founder of MUM lived there 13 years!]. But I am curious about the situation in non-WASP countries. [Me, too!]

As for Portugal, I read on that there is a taboo about touching meat. My mother [who is German] said that meat will become bad if a menstruating woman touches it. You can only eat it if you have re-heated it.

New this week: The Art of Menstruation: Judy Chicago's Red Flag - DIRECTORY OF OTHER TOPICS

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