The Breast Blog: Ma Bell Where Are You?

My Grade Five female body anatomy lesson came in two stages. Early one Saturday morning, my more developed friend Winnie knocked on my door, and blurted out something to the effect of, "Has anyone told you about menstruation yet"?

It was a reasonable question. My mother had died when I was six, leaving me in the care of my father, an advancing alcoholic. Winnie's mom used Winnie as the go between instead of being direct with my dad.

Turns out, my much older sister had beaten Winnie's mom to the punch. A few weeks early, with no discussion or eye contact, she had given me a small book titled, "You are a Young Woman Now." It showed a rough and tumble Tom Boy type like me being transformed into a tidy princess. It mentioned, 'that time of month'. The booklet didn't mention blood. But I was smart enough to know that something would be happening, down there.

That was it. Sum total of my female body anatomy lesson. When Paul MaKee told me I should go and see the teacher, immediately after performing my best yet cart wheel for his viewing pleasure, I didn't ask why. That time of month had arrived. First recess, grade seven. Who would have guessed.

Ma Bell was no shrinking violet. If you've ever been to the Bell Museum in Baddeck, N.S., you would know that she was side by side with hubby Graham, working on inventions. This ad campaign that Bell is currently running, must be making her roll over in her grave. Surely in 2005 we can do better for our girls than my experience. And I would hope that we have evolved to a point in our understanding of women's health that would make Ma Bell proud.

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