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January 25, 2006

Museum of Menstruation

You just can't make things like this up.

I would have missed this short article in yesterday's Washington Post, had my wife not brought it to my attention. A man named Harry Finley has a web site called the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health. As the Post puts it, "The What?"

The What? Yes. It's actually a virtual museum ( since founder Harry Finley closed the bricks-and-mortar version he established in the basement of his New Carrollton house in 1994. He says he's hoping to find a permanent public location for the artifacts, "hopefully in Washington." But not a medical school. "Medicine studies the disorders of the body," Finley writes on the site. "Menstruation is not a disorder."
And since all biological functions that are not "disorders of the body" deserve a brick-and-mortar museum, I don't see why Finley shouldn't get his wish. In fact, he's thinking small. He should be demanding a "memorial" on the Mall. Look, we men have the Washington Monument; why shouldn't women have the Museum of Menstruation?

The article poses several questions other than "The What?" -- including the next best one: "Why?"
Why? The subject "doesn't have a sexual appeal for me," says Finley, 63, a retired Department of Defense employee and lifelong bachelor. "For most people it's a turnoff, and most people are taken aback, men and women. I knew when I started people were going to think I was completely weird and I would be criticized. But I wanted to do something I thought was totally worthwhile."
From my perspective, writing Pillage Idiot is completely weird, but I would never try to make the case that it was "totally worthwhile." But a Museum of Menstruation? I mean, even the humor at Pillage Idiot isn't as dumb as what you find on the humor page at the MoM site. Try this one on for size: "The girls were having their sex education class. One girl piped up will if we get periods and PMS, what do boys get? Without missing a beat the teacher replied they get UMS. Ugly mood swings or urgently missing sex."

Doesn't that make you want to start calling your congressman to support funding for a building for the museum?