Did anyone see Wife Swap last night?

It featured Penny Hefferan, a blind mother of two, who did a swap with a mother of five fairly unruly children in a chaotic household.

At the beginning of the program I was all set to ring channel 4 and complain vehemently. The mother who Penny swapped with was constantly being negative and saying that Penny shouldn’t be doing what she did. The other thing which they had her doing was wearing sim specs to simulate Penny’s eye condition. This type of activity in my opinion enforces the stereotypes held by a lot of sighted people, that it would be dreadful to be blind and impossible to function.

Of course, anyone who lost their sight suddenly would struggle, but this type of exercise doesn’t take into account the coping strategies which us blind people develop.

As the program progressed however, it was clear that Penny would manage, and the father of the five children changed his opinion of her completely. She helped him to discipline his children which really worked.

The other woman in comparison I felt undermined Penny’s regime. Although a little strict, she introduced things like TV in the bedrooms which for a lot of parents is an absolute no no, be they blind or sighted.

So, in the end I felt that Penny came out of this looking better than the other woman and hopefully has achieved what she set out to achieve, which is to change people’s perceptions of blind housewives.

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About Mel Griffiths

I live and work in Nottingham, England and am blind. This blog is often centred around things that happen to me because of being blind. This is my space to write and sometimes people will disagree with what I write, but its the one place I have in which to be frank and honest. I also like to reflect on the funnier side of life from time to time.
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3 Responses to Did anyone see Wife Swap last night?

  1. lulu_bear66 says:

    Another Schoolmate?
    Hey! When I read the name Penny Hefferan, bells rang in my head. Someone told me once that was the married name of a girl I remember fondly from school, our old stomping ground Chorleywood. Do you remember Penny Coote? She was two years above you, as I remember it, a stallwart of the pony club, and a great guitarist and singer. I liked her a lot. I used to hear a lot bout her, she had a very high-powered career, I think she still does. I wish I’d seen that program now!

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