From the new book Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim...
I bet you knew that Feminine Hygiene [is] a catch-all phrase for period products. But, not that long ago it meant deep cleansing of internal and external sexual body parts, often with harsh chemicals used to disinfect bathroom floors. Yes, you read that right. Just as you would scrub a toilet or shower stall to get of those dangerous germs and stagnant dirt, women were encouraged to think about their bodies the same way. Advertising hit new scare tactic lows by convincing women that their marriages, their future happiness, even their husbands’ sexual well-being was at risk if they didn’t douche regularly.
In the 1930s, the US government hopped on that band wagon too, producing booklets detailing the importance of internal feminine cleanliness. Fortunately, checking for that cleanliness wasn’t part of any govermental job description.
For more unbelievable information found in the book Flow, check out their website http://www.flowthebook.com/!