In touch with my masculin side

I went in to London yesterday to record an episode of In Touch for Radio 4. In Touch is a weekly Tuesday evening show that deals specifically with issues that affect people who are blind. It’s been on for donkeys, since the 60s or something like that.

The discussion for this episode was whether or not being blind has an effect on your own sense of masculinity – I know, it sounds a bit bloody deep doesn’t it – it sounds like the kind of thing my wife would have written about when she was doing her doctorate in Psychology, and the kind of thing I would had silently been preying to a God I don’t believe in, that she wouldn’t ask me to read.

I think over it’s long history though, In Touch has had quite a stuffy BBC feel to it, but Peter White who hosts it does a lot to make the show feel fun and light hearted, more like a casual chat amongst mates.

I’ve never been one for deep conversations outside the realms of black holes, parallel universes, and time travel. Talking about emotions or feelings isn’t really something I do well, in fact my wife says that even Facebook allows me to respond to posts with three more emotions than I actually have, and I think I like that. Well either that or – Ha Ha!

On top of this emotional shortcoming of mine, I have historically not really embraced much to do with blindness to be honest, with even my stand-up barely mentioning the fact for much of my career.

I think as I have got older though, and especially since I have become a Dad, it has become something that I have consciously embraced a bit more than I once did. By that I mean that I no longer shy away from anything that is blind related, just because it is blind related. The glaringly obvious fact of course, is that I am blind, but I think that for much of my career as a stand-up I was massively resistant to anything that might pigeon hole me as being that blind bloke that just does blind stuff – snore!

I’m older now though, and I just care less about stuff like that, plus with regards to my comedy I think I’ve kind of proven myself as a comedian enough for that not to be so much of an issue at this point of my career.

Comedy is, and probably always will be, my first impulse though, when faced with more serious discussions of emotions and feelings which fall outside of my natural comfort zone of tech, science, football, comedy, music and pizza – And so it was no surprise to me that I found myself introducing myself on a show about the effects of blindness on the male sense of masculinity, by telling the listening audience that I would first of all like to assure them that I am extremely manly as I like both football and Die Hard 2.

Joking aside though, and I do definitely agree that it is an actual thing that exists, if exists is the right word for something so abstract and internal. But not being able to do specific things that have traditionally defined the role of the man as a husband, or as a Dad, or as the bread winner – three quarters of blind men apparently being unemployed – can naturally affect how some blind men think or feel about themselves as being a “proper man”.

Obviously there are millions of blokes out there who have their own different shit going on that isn’t being blind, and that can maybe affect them in a similar way, but this was a show entirely not about them, and purely about being blind, and so that was the angle we looked at it from, figuratively speaking of course.

I won’t go on right now about the whole discussion, but I will stick a post out when it is on if you fancy a listen to the show. I’m in a bit of a hurry to tell the truth, I’m off now to watch Die Hard 2, and then I might put up some shelves and bleed the radiators – Ugh!

CMx

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About me...

I am a stand-up comedian from Liverpool. I am blind, and I live with my wife and young daughter in South West London.

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