MOLT / FAQ

 

The Museum of the Menovulatory Lifetime
“sometimes a little lighter, sometimes a little heavier”

 

 

 

 

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1.  Why do you use big words like “menovulatory” and “menovulography?” I can hardly pronounce them.

 

2.  Why is MOLT’s logo a dragon?

 

3.  I’ve been to The Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health website. It seems like an okay museum, and I had fun looking around. What’s your problem with MUM? I mean, look at all the endorsements it has!

 

4.  I’ve written something that has to do with menstruation (pregnancy, menopause, sexuality, reproduction, menarche, advertising, etc). Will you add it to your site?

 

5.  Why would a city like Detroit want to be home to a museum like MOLT?

 

6.  I think the Menstrual Monday holiday is a great idea, and I love all the menstrual-themed decorations. So why spoil the fun by attaching it to something “serious” like a museum?

 

 

 

 

 

And the answers are:

 

1.  Why do you use big words like ‘menovulatory’ and ‘menovulography?’ I can hardly pronounce them. And why use ‘lifetime’ instead of ‘pattern?’ ‘Lifetime’ is so grandiose.

 

‘Menovulatory’ is a combination of ‘menstrual + ovulatory.’ It rhymes with ‘congratulatory,’ if that makes it easier to pronounce.

 

MOLT uses ‘menovulatory lifetime’ instead of ‘reproductive pattern’  because not all women reproduce; therefore, the former way of putting it is more inclusive than the latter.

 

Note: ‘Menovulatory lifetime’ doesn’t imply that women should menstruate and ovulate as much as possible between puberty and menopause. Rather, the implication is that girls and women will be making choices about menstruation and/or ovulation, or others will be making those choices for them. So using ‘menovulatory lifetime’ is a way of placing choice at the center of the museum narrative.


Similarly, MOLT uses ‘lifetime’ instead of ‘pattern,’ because the former emphasizes the historical nature of the journey from puberty to menopause, rather than the physiological, or even ‘biopsychosocial.’

 

By focusing so much on the cyclical nature of the menstrual cycle, the fact that there is a linear, historical trajectory from puberty to menopause gets pushed to the margin. MOLT is hopeful that the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research will someday consider changing their name, to better reflect awareness of (and hopefully, research effort directed toward) the linear, historical aspects of the menstrual cycle.

 

‘Menovulography’ is a combination of ‘menstruation + ovulation + biography,’ and is defined as ‘the years from puberty to menopause, told as a story with pictures.’  Indeed, the menovulographies to occupy MOLT’s central gallery are like biographies – except that their sole focus is on the ‘historical era’ from puberty to menopause, and as well, place greater emphasis on menstrual, sexual and reproductive experience than is typical in biography.

 

MOLT looks forward to the day when men’s biographies more fully integrate seminal, sexual and reproductive experience – a “seminography” exhibit of American ‘Founding Father’ Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, perhaps?

 

 

2.  Why is MOLT’s logo a dragon?

 

One of the definitions of ‘dragon’ in ‘The American College Dictionary,’ copyright 1955, is “a severely watchful woman; a duenna.” The latter is “an older woman serving as an escort or protector of a young lady.”

 

MOLT: The Museum of the Menovulatory Lifetime, is concerned with a single historical era, that is, the decades from puberty to menopause.

 

Because women experience this era in so many different ways, and there are so many conflicting interests, arguments and perspectives, as well as risks and benefits...isn’t it important for a museum to be “severely watchful,” like a duenna would be...or a dragon?

 

 

3.  I’ve been to The Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health website. It seems like an okay museum, and I had fun looking around. What’s your problem with MUM? I mean, look at all the endorsements it has!

 

First, contrast the reason it uses ‘MUM’ as its acronym: “MUM stands for MUseum of Menstruation; it fits in neatly with "Mum's the word," which means "Shhh! Don't talk about it!” with the reason for MOLT’s acronym: “MOLT stands for the Museum of the MenOvulatory LifeTime; it rhymes with lightening bolt.”

 

For MOLT’s more in depth answer to this question, click here to read: “Holomenses and Holocaust: A Comparison of the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.”  In a nutshell:  Aside from problems with the quality of scholarship at MUM, there is also the question of WHY taboo and shame, rather than choice, should be central to MUM’s museum narrative.

 

For a more scholarly analysis of MUM, please visit http://www.capitalizingonthecurse.com/, and learn about the recently published “Capitalizing on the Curse: The Business of Menstruation,” by Elizabeth Arveda Kissling, Ph.D., professor of Communication and Women's Studies at Eastern Washington University. Kissling discusses both MOLT and Mum, AND, more generally, what features museums exhibiting menstrual culture could and should have. Check it out!

 

 

4.   I’ve written something that has to do with menstruation (pregnancy, menopause, sexuality, reproduction, menarche, advertising, etc). Will you add it to your site?

 

Right now, MOLT is looking for menovulographies, that is, guest-curated exhibits on “the years from puberty to menopause, told as a story with pictures.” For one example, click here to see Anna Oravecz’s menovulography.  And click here to learn more about the specifics of the menovulography creation process – makes a great school project, seminar presentation, even fulfillment of a community service requirement. MOLT offers support and guidance throughout the creation process.

 

MOLT is also interested in suggestions you may have for MOLTXIBITS, and is happy to read whatever you may feel like sharing. If what you’ve written seems like something that will work in a MOLTXIBIT, MOLT may include it, or an excerpt, on the web site. However, MOLT is interested in exploring the question: “What IS the visual culture of the menovulatory lifetime, beyond commercial advertising?” So if you submit a piece of writing for MOLT’s consideration – please include a photo or two – or consider donating an item.

 

 

5.   Why would a city like Detroit want to be home to a museum like MOLT?

 

MOLT could possibly provide jobs – for instance, in the manufacture of Dragon Bags, or even a MOLT brand of tampon and/or pads; the museum, and the Broken Tampon Memorial Fountain, could be a tourist attraction for visitors from around the world; MOLT could become a funding source for cutting-edge research addressing ‘toxicity, shock, protection and confidence’; MOLT could provide internships for both high school and college students; MOLT could support health education efforts on the part of the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion.

 

 

6.   I think the Menstrual Monday holiday is a great idea, and love the menstrual-themed decorations and party favors. So why spoil the fun by attaching it to something “serious” like a museum?

 

Museums require funding; sales of menstrual-themed decorations and party favors could be a source of museum funding. As well, by being attached to a museum, Menstrual Monday can become a day not only for parties, but a day for education, commemoration and advocacy – see Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s web page about her introduction of the Robin Danielson Act (H.R. 3411)  which addresses tampon safety.

 

 

 

Mission Statement / Critique of the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health:
Why do we need another museum of this kind?

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UFOs

Art, Poetry, Music and Film of the Menovulatory Lifetime

From Protection to Expression: The Future of Menstrual Advertising

Menstrual Monday

Broken Tampon Memorial Fountain

 

Menovulography:  the years from puberty to menopause, told as a story with pictures

 

Toxic Protection / Confidence Shock

 

Menstrual Synchrony, Suppression and Globalization

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