Feature photo – trio from the left: John Reid; Geneviève Bonin; and the author of the original article – Mike Kennedy
2944 John Reid has his say:
“I read the article by Mike Kennedy on Geneviève Bonin’s working career since graduating from the college, and when I had finished it I elected to send a copy to each of our three daughters. I was very impressed, to say the least. I haven’t yet heard back from the middle daughter Janet who is a doctor and medical professor with three children, and who travels a reasonable amount to far reaches of the world in her work. But the lawyer daughter Susan in Toronto, who is a Deputy Director, Criminal Law, Province of Ontario and with only two children, replied and I quote, “Crazy accomplished. And 4 kids to boot! YEESH! Gotta meet the husband too!”
Actually. Susan has a point, I must say. It takes a cooperating husband if a woman is married and seeks a career. Sadly, our society still too often thinks of the man as the “breadwinner”. Our middle daughter Janet, now with three grown children, spent 15 years in university and various medical schools before she was in a permanent full employment position, so to speak, and her working career began. By then she had spent three years at McGill undergrad science, four years Queens medicine (where she met her classmate husband, now a family doctor), two years at the University of Newfoundland acquiring family physician status, three years in Dryden as a family doctor in a clinic where her first child was born, four years at University of Western Ontario in London where her second daughter was born, and then two years at Harvard on a fellowship, where her son was born, (now entering his final year at Harvard and captain of their rugger team). Throughout their academic life together her husband acted as “Mr. Mom”, remaining at home full time whenever needed. (Additionally, he was a “ranked” Ontario tri-athlete at one point, and even today they both exercise and bicycle extensively.)
And then there is the attitude of our working world that working women have to suffer. When Janet began full time medical work in Edmonton after finishing at Harvard her husband was remaining at home full time to care for their three then very young children. Janet needed a car to get to work and applied for a car loan at an Edmonton bank. Her pay as a full-time doctor at the hospital was considerable. In spite of this the bank refused her loan application saying that the reason was that her husband was not working. Fortunately, a member of our family had very high banking connections and the problem was quickly solved. Hard to believe though.
So Geneviève’s story is missing very important side tales, so to speak.”
2944 John Reid
Short response from 18668 Geneviève Bonin
Many thanks for pulling the story together. I have indeed received many comments and outreach through LinkedIn. The John’s story above is a very familiar one for me. You can certainly tell your daughter that she is not alone! I look forward to the day that our society recognizes the changing roles of men and women and make it a much more comfortable experience for men who support women in the breadwinner role.
Again, many thanks and have a wonderful day!