New this week: Society sanitary napkins (probably 1920s or 1930s) - Ad for "Very Personally Yours" booklet (1952, Kotex), and the cover of the booklet (1948) - "Modess . . . . because" ad (1966) - Additions to the page for Mary Lou Retton (Famous People in Menstrual Hygiene Advertising) - Cover of "How Shall I Tell My Daughter?," (1954), Modess booklet for girls

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Letters to Your MUM

Bouquets and brickbats, says an Australian woman - who said I could use her name - and writes about commercial products on this site:

Dear Mr Finley,

Thank you for your terrific site, which, if your mail is anything to go by, seems to be helping undermine the menstrual taboo. I have enjoyed and recommended it and you might be surprised to know how many women know about it in Australia.

My one note of concern has to do with the Libra link on your letters page. One of the strengths of your work is that you do not promote any company's pads or tampons and for this reason I was surprised to see this link appearing. Advertising under the guise of information is one of the insidious ways in which companies who sell pads and tampons try to reach their target market and I do not feel comfortable with this appearing on your site.

Thank you again for your work,

Yours sincerely,

Janet Fraser

P.S. The word "grot" is the current adolescent form of the older Australianism, "grotty," meaning unclean.

Thank you for your support and e-mail!

Libra isn't the only commercial link I have on the site; I probably have dozens.

I do it to be all inclusive and let people see what is out there. Because of the silence around menstruation, many women know little about products they are not using. I don't endorse the products and sites and certainly don't take money from them, although a couple of years ago I accepted advertising for money (I don't do that any more), and sometimes people send me their products, which become part of the museum. I am grateful for the additions.

Women need to know what the commercial options are. There are little-known products available - inter-labial pads are one - and folks can make up their own minds about them. You will notice that I have letters for and against the same products, especially menstrual cups.

I suspect some of the letters I get discussing products are sent by the companies or friends thereof. I do publish most letters unless they are simply repetitive or bear the e-mail address of a company - yes, this has happened! Reading them can encourage people to think about the products. Most of these items are cheap and trying them might be a good idea.

Consider this: The government of the state of Maryland, here in the U.S.A., recently closed down a highway-beautification program rather than let the racist Ku Klux Klan participate, which would have earned the right to advertise itself on signs on the stretch of the road it cleaned up.

The American Civil Liberties Union vigorously protested the government's action - actually, the woman director's action - saying it's better to have too much information available, even offensive or incorrect information, than not enough. Let the public discuss and judge the information. That's my attitude.

And we need to know much more about the safety of menstrual products, which is why I endorse the Tampon Safety and Research Act of 1999. Read the Menstrual Products Safety page on this site for more information.

And speaking of commercial sites, here's one about premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Please consider my page to add to your links. We provide information and products for PMS and even a free tracking sheet to track PMS symptoms. I already have a link up on my site to your page. I love it!


Caroline E. Roos

Pamper Me Softly, Inc.

Here's something to read:


Found your Web site through a bleeding friend of a bleeding friend and thought you might want to link to my short story, The Curse Of Falling Off The Roof, an extract from The White Trash Cook Book (an autobiography of a female alcoholic, with recipes and attitude!) .

Said story was e-published in Grrowl, an e-zine for nrrdgrrls.

You may find this story at:

Kat McElroy

North Pole, Alaska

Dear Mr. Finley,

I want to thank you for your fine Web page and museum. I have been using your site as a reference for the past few years on both women's health issues and ways that I can change my menstrual routine.

Several months ago I was fortunate enough to find Instead [menstrual cup] in my hometown drug store. I bought a box and tried it. I found that it didn't leak, but I could feel it inside of me. As some other women have noted, one size does not fit all, and I'm afraid that was my problem. I ended up giving most of the box away to girls in my dorm. I even convinced my mother to try it, though she hasn't come back with a verdict yet.

Another girl in my dorm told me about GladRags [washable pads]. She has been using them for about six months now and swears by them. I had read a little on your page but hearing another woman's testimony had me convinced. I found a box of three at the organic grocery store in my town and have been using them since. I love my GladRags. I always hated having to throw away wrappers and pads, and even more than that I hated having to carry around extras with me. Using the cotton pads I have only had to change once in the morning and in the evening, leaving me unencumbered all day in class. With disposable pads I found it necessary to change much more frequently due to plastic backings which cause sweat and therefore more moisture. I haven't experienced that wet feeling with cotton pads.

I just wanted to thank you for providing so much information on a topic few are open to discuss. I feel very liberated knowing my options for my menses. Please keep it up.

Tell Your Congressperson You Support the Tampon Safety and Research Act of 1999! Here's How and Why

The BBC wants to hear from you if your cycle is a blessing, makes you creative, if you have experience with menstrual seclusion, or know about current research !

Here's your chance to say how you feel about menstruation!

Please, may I post a letter on your letter page?

I'm researching a documentary for the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] about menstruation - myths and facts and blessing or curse.

I have much information about the curse and predjudice but I am finding scant information about the blessing! I was thrilled to find medical information linking surgery for breast cancer and the menstrual cycle and the New Scientist report about differing medication levels required during the 28-day cycle, and the research about eating requirements differing during the cycle etc., but I want to hear from women who have evidence of the cycle as a blessing, for example, artists, writers, etc., who are at their most creative whilst menstruating.

I also want to meet women who practice menstrual seclusion, as with menstrual huts of the past [and of the present; women still use menstrual huts].

And anything and everything to do with research into menstruation.

Next week I am interviewing Mr Peter Redgrove and Penelope Shuttle who wrote the first book on menstruation that offered positive information, The Wise Wound, 1978. I am very excited about asking many questions resulting from the book. If you have any questions for them pertaining to the book or their second book, Alchemy for Women, about the dream cycle corresponding to the menstrual cycle, I would be delighted to forward them to them on your behalf. They are not on the net so any questions would have to have addresses!

Thank you so much for this glorious Web site [many thanks to you for saying that!] and I look forward to hearing from visitors to your site.

Ali Kedge. or

Help Wanted: This Museum Needs a Public Official For Its Board of Directors

Your MUM is doing the paper work necessary to become eligible to receive support from foundations as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. To achieve this status, it helps to have a American public official - an elected or appointed official of the government, federal, state or local - on its board of directors.

What public official out there will support a museum for the worldwide culture of women's health and menstruation?

Read about my ideas for the museum. What are yours?

Eventually I would also like to entice people experienced in the law, finances and fund raising to the board.

Any suggestions?

Do You Have Irregular Menses?

If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome [and here's a support association for it].

Jane Newman, Clinical Research Coordinator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, asked me to tell you that

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.

Learn more about current research on PCOS at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University - or contact Jane Newman.

If you have fewer than six periods a year, you may be eligible to participate in the study!

See more medical and scientific information about menstruation.

New this week: Society sanitary napkins (probably 1920s or 1930s) - Ad for "Very Personally Yours" booklet (1952, Kotex), and the cover of the booklet (1948) - "Modess . . . . because" ad (1966) - Additions to the page for Mary Lou Retton (Famous People in Menstrual Hygiene Advertising) - Cover of "How Shall I Tell My Daughter?," (1954), Modess booklet for girls

PREVIOUS NEWS | First Page | Contact the Museum | Menstrual Products Safety | FAQ | links | DIRECTORY OF ALL TOPICS

Take a short tour of MUM! (and on Web video!) - FAQ - Future of this museum - Tampon Safety Act - Contact the actual museum - Board of Directors - Norwegian menstruation exhibit - The media and the MUM - Menstrual odor - Prof. Mack C. Padd: Fat Cat - The science and medicine of menstruation - Early tampons - Books about menstruation - Menstrual cups: history, comments - Religion and menstruation: A discussion - Safety of menstrual products (asbestos, dioxin, toxic shock syndrome, viscose rayon) - A Note from Germany/Neues aus Deutschland und Europa - Letters - Links

© 1999 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