MOLT / OLD MISSION
The Museum of the
“sometimes a little lighter, sometimes a little heavier”
Below is the original MOLT Mission Statement – more poetic than the current mission statement – but perhaps too much editorializing as well.
Toward the end of her long poem “Transcendental Etude,” Adrienne Rich listed the following:
“and the darkblue petal of the petunia,
and the dry darkbrown lace of seaweed;
not forgotten either, the shed silver
whisker of the cat,
the spiral of paper-wasp-nest curling
beside the finch’s yellow feather…”
A menstrual version of “Transcendental Etude” might have instead listed:
“and the brightred lining of the uterus,
and the dry lightbrown stain of menstrual blood;”
Indeed, if we look at the section of flow-dyed t-shirt to the left, we see that it too is a byproduct of a living thing, just like “the shed silver whisker of the cat.”
We can juxtapose its muted tones with the brilliant ones of a tie-dye t-shirt, in the same way that Rich has juxtaposed “the spiral of paper-wasp-nest curling/beside the finch’s yellow feather.”
We can also bring to mind the ordinary surroundings of womens’ menovulatory experience, in the same way we realize “the darkblue petal of the petunia” is often found fluttering in the curbside garden of a gas station, or the “darkbrown lace of seaweed” in grocery carts and kitchen cupboards.
But, before we define the mission of MOLT: The Museum of the Menovulatory Lifetime, let’s look at the definition of “molt” from the dictionary:
molt /molt/ v & n (v) 1. (intr) shed feathers, hair, a shell, etc., in the process of renewing plumage, coat, etc. 2. (tr) shed (feather, hair, etc.) (n) 1. the act or an instance of molting (as in molt once a year).
From the above, MOLT borrows the idea that exhibit creation and exhibit viewing are both “processes of renewal” – a shedding not of “plumage” or “coat,” but of “etc.” – worn-out attitudes about the menovulatory lifetime, and the failures of imagination they represent.
It is the mission of MOLT to:
(Mission outline, Joanne Kachman)
MAINTAIN EXHIBITS that encourage critical thinking, dialogue and reporting about the menovulatory lifetime; provide balance as to the pros and cons of available data; and utilize data from as a wide a variety of up-to-date sources as possible.
OFFER WORKABLE REGIMENS for all phases of the menovulatory lifetime, i.e., “something you can do without it becoming a chore.” MOLT is committed to the idea that menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and so on, are all opportunities to do self-care.
LISTEN TO WHAT WOMEN HAVE TO SAY about their own experience of the menovulatory lifetime, and provide opportunities for dialogue and support, inquiry and activism.
TRANSFORM WOMEN’S EXPERIENCE of the menovulatory lifetime, and how that experience is reflected back by news and entertainment, the menstrual product industry, and the medical establishment.
NOTE: MOLT uses the term “menovulatory lifetime” to capture the complexity and diversity of women’s experience. As Jerilynn Prior, MD, of the The Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research explains:
“I learned, by studying runners, what is true for all women—ovulation and menstruation are not the same. Regular periods can and do occur with no ovulation…”
Recent research also suggests that the opposite may occur; that is, more than one ovulation per menstrual cycle.