Found Menovulography / Marjorie Finley

 

 

 

Go to Main Page  /  Go to MOLTXIBITS  /  Go to Menstrual Monday  /  Contact Us

 

 

 

 

 

What follows is from MUM: The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health, 1998, and is MUM Director Harry Finley discussing some of his mother's family history. Notably, not only are there no family photos on display in his house, but in the following letter, photographs are mentioned but not shown either. Why? Also noteworthy is that Finley says, “...much of my past is too painful for me to set up reminders on tables and walls, and because I store everything clearly, but away, in my memory anyhow.”

Mannequins, yes – but where’s the Polaroid of Director Finley’s mother and father, as described below?

MOLT would like to know:  Why does Director Finley feel his own personal family history is too painful to display, yet he freely “set[s] up reminders on tables and walls,” not to mention on web pages, of menstrual history, when he himself has never menstruated, and is thus safe from ever having first-hand (or first-uterus) experience of that pain...or joy.

Also note the melodramatic descriptions of his family and himself. Would a bachelor's degree in gender studies, history and/or museology have led Director Finley to a more nuanced, complex (and thus truthful) narrative?

My Mom herself grieved to death five years after muscular dystrophy killed my little brother, Jim, when he was 21.”

 

She had "walked alone" and she was lonely indeed, in spite of her religion and family.”

 

I am an old bachelor, and most of those who remain of my distant family find this museum shameful, and me shameless. One prominent member said I disgraced the family name - and worse. MUM's not something I created not knowing the snares, but I underestimated the terror it evokes.”

Evaluate the above statements in the context of the history of the Muscular Dystrophy Association as well as the biography of Sarah Triano, “a 30 year-old Disabled feminist and one of the leading Disability/human rights activists in the country.” Read also Laura Hershey’s essay, “What’s Pride Got to Do with It?”

Compare also MUM Director Finley's “menovulography” of his mother Marjorie with that of MOLT Director Kachman's grandmother.

 

And a Letter from Your MUM to You About His Mom

A Bible brought back my family:

Dear MUM Visitors,

Just an hour ago, while constructing this Columbus Day update, I reread an e-mail from Kathleen O'Grady suggesting that I scan a Bible chapter - Leviticus 15, or the fifteenth chapter of the Third Book of Moses - to put with her exchange of e-mail with a writer from Purdue University for a new page about religion and menstruation.

I knew I had a Bible stashed in the piles of drawings, books and Zip drives in the Sears metal racks next to me; I see it every time I start to straighten the mess up. I took it from a stack of my father's things after he died eight years ago.

The Bible formed a lump under a box of Staples envelopes and computer catalogs and I happily extracted it. It lacked a cover, and I read a blue-ink inscription on the top, browning page: "Mother from Marybelle [my mother's favorite of four sisters - Mom, the youngest, had no brothers - and who all had names beginning with "M"]," and then, in another hand, in pencil, "To Marjorie [my mother] when I am gone." Aunt Marybelle wrote "June 24th, 1924" in the top right corner of the page.

Startled, I stopped working on the page you are now reading and started looking at the dozens of poems and articles someone, probably Mom and her mother, cut from newspapers and magazines and saved between the pages. I saw some photos, including a reddening but good Polaroid of my mother and father, [italics and red font MOLT – show don’t tell, Harry!] and my high school graduation photo, and some letters and notes.

I read a letter from my mother to her mother. [italics and red font MOLT – why wasn’t this letter scanned and uploaded to MUM site? MUM scans and uploads mass-produced menstrual advertising, surely a letter by Director Finley’s own mother to her mother is just as important, if not more so, than a menstrual advertisement. Harry Finley, your mother and grandmother were menstruating women too!] The letterhead was The Germantown Hospital, located, I believe, outside Philadelphia; I knew Mom had been a student nurse, as had all her sisters, and I think this was where she had studied.

Mom had copied out a poem for my grandmother, who died when I was two or three, and mailed it to her with this note:

Mother, I love this poem.

It makes me think of you when your father died and you and your sister were left alone & sent out among your relatives. [I had never known this]. Especially the last line I like ["He who wears strength must ever walk alone." Mom penciled a line under the first five words and two under "ever walk alone." [italics and red font MOLT - show don’t tell, Harry!].

My Mom herself grieved to death five years after muscular dystrophy killed my little brother, Jim, when he was 21. [italics and red font MOLT – what year was this? The Muscular Dystrophy Association was started in 1950.] She had nursed him since he was three, when a doctor diagnosed the genetic disease. He told Mom that she had given her youngest child the gene for this always-fatal illness, a fact that wore her out, just as it had killed my brother. She had "walked alone" and she was lonely indeed, in spite of her religion and family.

In an article about tampons in the Village Voice, in 1994, (see the end of this item) the reporter noted that I displayed no family photos in my house. That's because much of my past is too painful for me to set up reminders on tables and walls, and because I store everything clearly, but away, in my memory anyhow. [italics and red font MOLT – could it be that women’s pain around menstruation is the reason a man started MUM, and not a woman? Some discussion of this might be nice right about here, Harry.]

I am an old bachelor, and most of those who remain of my distant family find this museum shameful, and me shameless. One prominent member said I disgraced the family name - and worse. MUM's not something I created not knowing the snares, but I underestimated the terror it evokes. [italics and red font MOLT – perhaps Harry OVERestimates the “terror” it evokes. Something to consider!]

My family now is cats, two indoor and six outside; a mama cat parked her kittens under a bush in my backyard six weeks back and left them eight days ago. Today, after this update, I hope to finish the first of two feral cat shelters for them and neighborhood wanderers who drop in. Hm, I could keep them in the museum in cold weather, and maybe they could get used to the two furry guys already here in the rest of the house . . . . [They are now, August 1999, my permanent housemates, after a neighbor threatened to kill them. The last time I saw Minnie, an irascible, beautiful tomcat, was the day before I had a coronary angioplasty, in early May, 1999; he was outside, and I'm sure he's dead. I miss him very much. That leaves seven cats.]

Now I must put my other family back into the Bible, if I can, and get this page done.

Harry Finley

(Read the FAQ for more on why I started the museum, as well as about my family, and my idea of the future museum. And read Karen Houppert's Village Voice article, a good one [and read about her valuable book The Curse, an expansion of the article], and look at the new page about religion and menstruation. Oh, see and read [bottom of the page] about my cats - also about the family of five plus two that shares my house.)

 

 

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

X

UFOs

Art, Poetry, Film and Music

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

Main

Page

Menstrual Synchrony, Suppression and Globalization

Contact MOLT

 

 

Go to MOLTXIBITS

Get Your Dragon On

Gift Shop