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, 1970s)
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 more Kotex items: First ad (1921) - ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Lee Miller ads (first real person in amenstrual 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.


Professor Versus Margie Profet: Read in Science News!

Why do women menstruate? This is not a silly question, and researchers even today are far apart in finding the answer.

One person, Margie Profet, became a MacArthur Fellow in 1993 by theorizing that women menstruate in part to rid the body of the pathogenic bacteria brought in by sperm from the vagina. This is part of her allergy theories, as is her work on the nature of morning sickness in pregnancy.

A recent critic of of this theory is Assistant Professor Beverly Strassmann of the anthropology department of the University of Michigan, who maintains that getting rid of the lining simply saves the body energy. She has also been investigating the Dogon of Mali, West Africa, since 1984, partly in order to explain their use of the menstrual hut (see also the photo of a Hawaiian menstrual hut).

John Travis is writing a story about this divergence of views for Science News magazine, a weekly published by the sponsors of the yearly Science Talent Search for the Westinghouse science scholarships, probably the most prestigious competition in the United States for talented high school science students. I've subscribed to this great little publication for years.

He visited MUM recently to see what this museum could contribute to his story; the article will probably appear this March (actually in April) (click here after the article appears to order it, and here to browse the Science News site). I will tell you more about the article after it appears.

Few in the academic community believe Profet's theory is a good one, said Travis, but Strassmann and others thank her for giving menstruation a high profile in academia - we all know it is still somewhat taboo.

By the way, Travis says Profet is now working in astronomy (!), apparently discouraged by what she feels is an atmosphere unreceptive to new ideas in evolutionary biology.

I wish her luck in a field which has interested me since the fifth grade! Will she win a second MacArthur Fellowship?

By the way, Travis also mentioned that there is speculation that the high number of menstrual periods a woman has today, 400-500, far exceeds what woman had in previous centuries because of length of life, fewer pregnancies, etc., and the greatly increased estrogen a woman is exposed to may have increased the number of breast cancers today.

People From North and South Visit MUM

Recent visitors came from Appalachian State University in North Carolina (part of a women's literature class) and from Albany, New York, together with their friends from the Washington area. The Albany folks came all that way just to visit this museum!

What great fun this is!

"I Wish I Had Discovered [The Keeper] When I Was a Teenager."

Another reader comments in our continuing discussion of menstrual cups:

"I use The Keeper and find no to little mess on my hands when emptying out its contents and replacing it. Think about it. The menstrual flow is kept inside the cup. When you take the cup out, your fingers are not in contact with that fluid. You empty it, wipe it and reinsert it. Again, no contact with the fluid. I think it is the greatest thing a woman can use. I am not inconvenienced with leakage like a tampon, frequent changes of tampons, a string to contend with, or running out of tampons. I run long distance with The Keeper and forget that I even have a period. I wish I had discovered this when I was a teenager.

"I have told a few of my friends about your page, which is entertaining and informative, and I appreciate your gender limitation awareness on this subject [The founder of MUM and writer of this Web page is a guy, just a guy, folks, and aware of the irony]. It makes you more credible recognizing that. Good for you!"

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Meets in Chicago

The University of Illinois in Chicago hosts the biannual meeting from 5 - 7 June of the organization founded for those folks in and out of academia interested in menstruation. The director of MUM is a member.

I will pass on costs, accommodations and tidbits to you when I get them.

A Measly $24.95 Buys the Truth: Under Wraps

Individual Americans can buy what I think is the best film ever made about menstruation (read below) by calling Great North Enterprises (403) 482-2022 (Canada) or e-mailing for a video copy.That's $24.95 in American funds. It's worth every penny.

Canadians: call the National Film Board of Canada at 1-800-267-7710 for a video copy.

Organizations must contact Great North - do you hear the wind whistling across the arctic tundra? - about prices and theatrical rights.

By the way, MUM and its director have no financial interest in promoting Under Wraps, but the film does discuss this museum.

Famous Toxic Shock Researcher Gives Rare Cups to MUM

Dr. Philip M.Tierno, Jr., director of microbiology and immunology at the New York University Medical Center, and author and co-author of important studies dealing with the safety of menstrual products, generously donated a box of Tassaway menstrual cups to this museum. The Tassette Company made the Tassaway cup before failing in the 1970s, and your MUM had been despairing of ever finding one. As you can understand, pads, tampons and cups (menstrual-type) are designed for disappearance, not preservation, and this is a fantastic gift.

(The cup, by the way, has a solid color represented by the skin tone on its right side; the blue is an artifact of my inept scanning ability. It is almost exactly the same size as The Keeper, its successor in the late 1980s produced by another company. Note the holes allowing for regulation of air pressure while in the vagina. See the instruction sheet for this cup. and an ad for Tassaway)

Why did the menstrual products companies change the content of their products after the toxic shock terror of 1979 and 1980? Mainly because of the research of Dr. Tierno and his colleagues.

I won't stop talking about Under Wraps, the recent Canadian film which features Dr. Tierno. He advises women today to use 100% cotton menstrual products because of the continuing danger of toxic shock and chemical contaminants.

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See Tampax tampons (1970, with Susan Dey), Personal Products (1955, with Carol Lynley), and
German o.b. tampons (lower ad, 1981) See a Lucky Strike cigarettes ad from 1933.

See ads for menarche-education booklets: Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (Kotex, 1933),
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.