In the spirit of constructive criticism, I have to say that while I found the article to be filled with interesting tidbits, I was less than enthusiastic about the style and organization of the piece.
Let me start by saying I admire gfactor and all of the staff’s ability to write something for publication; clearly a lot of time, research, and effort went into the piece, not to mention the sheer anxiety of having total strangers criticize your work. Aware of this, please understand I post only in the hope that the criticism will be helpful.
The style of organizing sections of the article around multiple quotes from other sources is a practice I personally find uninspired. For example, the interesting anecdote regarding John Williamson and his father’s reaction could probably have been handled in a couple of short sentences tamed to emphasize the old man’s bizarre reaction. Ditto the description of the ingenious marketing methods for eliminating the “shame” of purchasing commercial tampons.
The idea of commercially-available tampons butting up against the entrenched prudishness of American society is a good theme within the article. I personally would have built the writing around this theme, highlighting this as the link between the various historical mileposts in the evolution of commercial tampons. This last point is why (for me) the article fell flat and lost my interest halfway thru; the laundry-list of items came, at times, as a disorganized jumble.
Please take these comments as a kind reflection of one reader’s reaction–judging from the posts in this thread I’m in the minority. And again, the wealth of data in the column, combined with research that was obviously thorough and well-considered, is much appreciated. Compared to this, the criticisms I raised are minor, and I sincerely hope to see more in the future!