Hippity Hoppity: A Nod or Not?

Did you see viral video of the professor interrupted by his children during a remote BBC interview? The media covered it as a funny and charming moment of the perils of doing an television interview from home.screen-shot-2017-03-10-at-4-45-55-pm

Professor Robert Kelly is an international relations expert and political science professor at a university in South Korea. He was invited to give an interview to BBC World News about the impeachment of the South Korean president.

He has been making television appearances for six years he has said, but this was the first time his children have burst into the room as he was on a Skype interview. His charming four year old daughter was in a “hippity-hoppity” mood, he has said.

(see the video)

As a working professional and mom these are the types of disruptions you hope to avoid, when working outside of the office. I once had to take a call from home, with the former CEO of a major cola company that took weeks to arrange, because my child was sick, fearful the whole call that my son would throw up in the next room. It has also happened to my husband, when our then five year old picked the phone extension when he was on a conference call.

But here’s my question?

Would the video have gone viral, or would we be as charmed, if the gender of the professor had been female? Would reporters have swarmed a female professor’s home for comment the following day?

Or would the reaction have included implicit or explicit notions as:

Makes her look unprofessional.

Why didn’t she make sure the door is secured?

Needs to have a stern word with her childcare provider.

Bet she’ll never be booked on BBC again

Maybe we shouldn’t care. Maybe it is enough to “normalize” the unexpected moments that come with work-life balance, regardless of gender. Maybe this a nod to the realities of solutions to work-life balance.

Hippity-Hop or not.


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