Museum "debate" on Warner Brothers airs soon
As I mentioned last week,
television will broadcast a "debate" between a woman
this museum and me on the new show Moral Court,
which starts syndication 2 October in the United States
and airs four "cases"
a day, several days a week. We recorded it in Paramount
Studios in Hollywood
last Saturday morning in front of a live audience. It
will air in the next
several weeks, according to the producer.
I put debate in parentheses because it turned out to
be something totally different.
The producer told me he feared
for his job after the show because of what happened (you
have to see it),
but his boss decided to keep it. Judge for yourself. I
and a prize.
After it airs, I will explain what
Having arrived in Los Angeles at 10:30 the night
before, I had an almost-midnight
dinner with MUM board member Miki Walsh, who lives in
Hollywood, then couldn't
sleep all night. The studio car picked me up at eight
the next morning.
I say this because twice during the show the judge had
to get my attention
as I drifted into Slumberland. Miki, in the audience
behind me, said - I'm
paraphrasing - I looked awfully tired.
Oh, at Los Angeles airport, I visited Bow Wow Meow, a
sculpture of cats and dogs as well as other images. Over
the entrance, with
other pets, presided a four-foot sculpture that looked
just like my missing
Maine coon tomcat, The
Distinguished Service Institutional
Albert Lasker Memorial Pouncer at the Museum of
Menstruation, Prof. Minnie
Padd. I sure miss him.
increase breast cancer
(No money goes to the museum or Harry Finley.)
to your MUM
Tomatoes and o.b.
I was delighted to see two letters
about menstruation causing problems when canning
tomatoes! I mentioned this to you once before - I
grew up hearing the same old-wives tale.
I also wanted to comment on the name for o.b.
tampons. The company may or may not admit the
connection, but "ob" is an abbreviation for
I always thought the name was chosen to sound
"medical." Why "o.b." instead of "O.B.," "ob," "OB,"
or even better, "Gyn."? Maybe they just thought it
looked better. "Gyn." might be just a bit too
graphic. "ob" is just obscure enough, but still
sounds vaguely "doctor-ish."
[I still think the German expression ohne Binde is right (yes, it is
as evidenced here); why would the company
conceal that? And the connection between
obstetrician and tampon is weaker than with "without
a belt," which is what the German means.]
Praise and a word for menstruation from Pakistan
I'm a 24-year-old physician from Pakistan. I
believe what you are doing at mum.org is amazing.
[Thanks very much!] Just thought I'd add my two bits
to the "Words and expressions
for menstruation" from around the world.
The period in Pakistan is called "mahwari" which literally
means monthly. Keeping in view my inexperience,
my gender (male) and the conservative nature of
our society, I am unfamiliar with the more
slangish/common words. Hope this helps.
[You've started a new section, Pakistan!]
Dr [name withheld]
A Spanish woman living in Brussels
supports the museum
I don't care about what other people say, I find
it terrific. I have just heard about it in an
article in a Spanish paper (El PaÌs http://www.elpais.es/p/d/20001001/sociedad/menstrua.htm).
I hope you manage to make the museum. Go on and
thank you very much. [Thank you! She also
contributed a comment to the Stop
Tomatoes (again), douching, and menstruation
Your Web site (and the museum itself, which I read
about years ago in the Village Voice [read about the
of the article]) is absolutely fascinating! It
appeals to me on so many levels! Politically,
historically, and even esthetically. Those old ads
just slay me! And, oh yeah, I'm a girl so . . .
well, you know. I get my period.
I'm also a journalist and am working on a small
piece about douching. Have you any idea who invented
the douche? [No. I suspect it's been around for
thousands of years.] I know about 3000 years ago
there was some business with cow dung and honey, but
the inventor of say, the contemporary douche. Man or
woman? [Probably a man - just a guess.] You say on
your Web site that most feminine "hygiene" products
were invented by men but who were they and why in
the HELL did we listen to them? [Hey, you must
ALWAYS listen to m- OOPS! I didn't mean that! I'm
I'm also interested in the superstitions
surrounded menses: my ex-boyfriend and I
had a pretty heated argument about Italian women not being able to
participate in certain tomato stewing rituals when
they had their periods because they might turn the
I said this was nothing but negative and
oppressive bullshit but he seems to think that it
implied that women were so powerful they could turn
tomato sauce bad and that there was some sort of
respect attached to this. [I can see why he's an
I said that would all depend on other aspects of
their condition, as well. Did they have a lot of
power and were they given a lot of freedom and
respect in other aspects of life? Or was this just a way of
oppressing them and making them feel dirty? My
feeling is when you are told that you can make
something turn sour by virtue of a bodily function,
it implies that you yourself are bad. This is not a positive outlook on
the power of menstruation, it is a negative one
and does not give power to the woman, but takes it
away. If they had so much respect for a
menstruating woman, wouldn't they want her making
the sauce? Wouldn't that make it extra delicious
somehow? He brought into his argument the
superstition that a church elder could sour the milk
of a village, thus making him incredibly powerful.
Yeah, but they didn't get all freaked out by this
and try to burn and oppress them, did they? Never
mind the fact that neither of these parables is
Sorry to rave on. I really just wanted to ask you
about douching. Once again, your site is fascinating
and, as you can see, has sparked conversation.
Congratulations! [Thank you!] This is my standard
for being a successful human being. Well, that and
being able to make me laugh. [Someone told me
recently that every time she looks at me, she wants
to laugh. I'm not sure how to take that.] Which you
also did. [Great!]
Link with British dykes
I saw your site at http://www.mum.org/ and wanted
to get in touch.
The women's team at rainbownetwork.com are putting
together a directory of lesbian links for our dykesdomain section. I like
your site and I was wondering if you would allow us
to link to your Web site. [Yes!]
Rainbownetwork.com is the largest lesbian and gay
site in the UK. We've got sections on
everything you could ever want - from travel to pets
to cult to the latest UK and world news. We are a
mixed site but we also have a dedicated women-only
space called dykesdomain - which is where we plan to
have a comprehensive list of links to the best
lesbian sites on the Web.
All we ask is you link to us.
You can get a preview of the sort of articles we
have in dykesdomain by going to http://www.dykesdomain.com
Thanks in advance,
"Cats" done by the real thing
X-Lydia and "Tom Gill Predicts" take credit for
this funny piece about if cats peopled - um - did
the play Cats:
"Cats" just closed on Broadway, setting the record
as the longest-running show to date. The show
romanticizes and shrouds in mystery the lives and
habits of America's most popular pet. Yet, even with
the lively dancing and popular songs, "Cats" doesn't
seem to capture the true-to-life behavior of our
feline companions. Below is a
list of what "Cats" would have to do to more
accurately portray the true essence of cats.
* Audience members would enter the auditorium only
to find their seats had been clawed and covered with
* The antagonist in the show would be a giant
* Sometimes the cast would perform, but sometimes
not - depending on their mood.
* Performers would leap off the stage and run up
the aisles at the recorded sound of a can opener in
* When certain audience members opened their
playbills, a cast member would attempt to lie down
* In the middle of a performance various cast
members would curl up and go to sleep, even in the
middle of a song.
* For no apparent reason, cast members would
randomly run to the lobby, and then back to the
stage at top speed. They would then continue as if
nothing had happened.
* A special audience member would find a headless
bird in his/her seat after the intermission.
* Snack bar employees would constantly be
reprimanding cast members for walking on the
* Open the stall door and guess who is drinking
from the toilet?
* Part of the performance would include the cast
climbing and shredding the theater curtains.
* The stage would be stained from someone coughing
up a hairball and then eating it.
* Performers would find sand in the lobby ashtrays
and - well, we don't have to draw a picture here, do
* The show would need to be stopped several times
to allow cast members to "bathe" themselves.
* Most of the final act would consist of the cast
just staring at the audience.
* The big finale would feature a giant ball of
yarn, feathers on a pole, and stray strands of
* Theater patrons waiting outside the stage door
after performances would get their legs rubbed, if
they were lucky.
* Cast members would never cash their paychecks,
just play with them.
Here's more about cats.
Pap art exhibit starts
21 September in Delray Beach, Florida
I am writing to request your participation and
assistance in an exciting and important project
regarding women's health issues.
The world-renowned scientist and lover of the arts
Dr. George Papanicolaou,
better known as Dr. Pap, inventor of the Pap smear
test, will be the subject of a special exhibition
at the Cornell Museum of Art in Delray Beach,
Florida, beginning September 21, 2000. The
gala opening and artist's reception will be held on
Thursday evening September 28, 2000. The foremost
patient advocate and director of the Center For
Cervical Health in the United States, Carol Ann
Armenti, will be the keynote speaker.
The exhibition will run through November 12, 2000,
and will feature recent works by international artist Olga
Stamatiou, Dr. Papanicolaou's niece.
Stamatiou's works will be available for acquisition
and the profits will go
1. The creation of "PAP MOBILES," vehicles that
would be used to provide testing for under-served
women in areas, with the highest incidence of
2. The creation of a traveling multimedia art
3. The production of a documentary film based on
the life, work and scientific legacy of Dr.
Papanicolaou and his wife Mary.
4. The Center for Cervical Health.
5. The Papanicolaou Woman's Corp.
Our organization "PAP" - Prevention and Protection
- will have as its goal to raise awareness about
women's health issues, including the importance of
having regular Pap smears and the provision of
information on new and existing methods for
detecting cervical cancer.
The traveling exhibition, to be viewed in public
spaces and museums, will be a multimedia environment
drawing on and inspired by Dr. Pap's love of the
arts and sciences. This environment will include
permanent built-in units that will provide creative
spaces for national and local women's health
organizations to inform women on what is available
involving health care.
The September 28th opening reception will also
include international guest artists and feature a
wide range of styles and media. A percentage of
their work will benefit the above-mentioned
Olympus Corporation of America will provide
working microscopes and monitors along with
technicians on opening night to demonstrate how Pap
smears are read.
Washable-pad company for sale
Gayle Adams, owner of
Feminine Options, wants to sell the company to
someone willing to put time and energy into it.
The Food and Drug Administration has already
approved its products.
Call Gayle at (715) 455-1652