Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
10 March 2017updated 04 Aug 2021 2:30pm

The BBC pundit’s children video is NOT FUNNY. It’s patriarchy in a nutshell

Once again, an awareness of the unequal nature of caring labour ruins a great viral video. 

By Moley Tant

Hello, it’s me! I’m the Media Mole’s killjoy spinster aunt, and I am here to disagree with my nibling and drop hot feminist takes all over your internet. Just call me Millie Tant. Moley Tant. Whatever. We’ll workshop it. 

Today, the internet has been on fire with hilarity over this video of a BBC pundit being interrupted, first, by a toddler. Then a baby in a wheeler. Then a woman desperately trying to retrieve both so that the pundit can get on with delivering his take about North Korea. 

Here’s the problem: I can’t enjoy it. 

This makes me feel so alone. 

There’s nothing worse than watching everyone else crease with mirth while you’re left thinking: but… no?

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Basically, the message this video delivers to me is: being a man is playing life on the easy setting. Once again, the yawning awareness of the patriarchy shits on my ability to enjoy something. I can see why so few female Moles are feminists. 

Content from our partners
Why competition is the key to customer satisfaction
High streets remain vitally important to local communities
The future of gas

Here’s the worst/best bit of the video. When Mr Pundit doesn’t even turn round to acknowledge his child, but instead gives the little tyke a gentle shove to get out of the way.

If a woman had done that, we wouldn’t be sharing the video while wiping tears of laughter from our eyes. We’d be knee-deep in a tedious discussion about whether she’s a terrible mother and whether her career of Korea Takes was leading her to ignore the small, simple pleasures of watching a child dance like a loon. 

Also – ALSO – Mr Pundit shoves the kid back with the easy reassurance of someone who knows that another person is going to swoop in and deal with the kids. This, you feel, is the kind of guy who refers to looking after his own children as “babysitting”.

It also exposes one reason why there are more men delivering their opinions all over our televisions most days – because women are doing the behind the scenes work needed to make that feasible. True equality will not have been achieved until we see a father desperately clawing at a baby wheeler while a woman talks about the rising threat of nuclear war.

Of course, this is all cruel projection. For all we know Mr Pundit might otherwise be an exemplary hands-on dad. Perhaps he’s changing the nappy of a third, hidden child under the desk with his feet. It’s not his fault that the patriarchy exists, and also annoys me so much. 

Still, though, pity me. Once again, an awareness of the unequal nature of caring labour has ruined a great viral video.