We Don’t Feel Faces!

I’m reading The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I know, I’m so behind everyone else, and as yet I’m not sure how much I’m actually enjoying it.

I was reading away in bed last night and the blind grandmother was introduced to the plot. Before long she was asking to feel someone’s face and I was cringing and all but shouting at my player telling her not to do it!

This led me to a somewhat scary chain of thought. First of all I was wondering why authors of fiction insist that their blind characters insist on feeling faces. I’ve never met a blind person yet who did this so why do they do it in books and films?

Then I started thinking further. There are definitely those people out there who, for whatever reason, appear to do anything to avoid interacting with a blind person. Maybe I’ve found the reason why! Perhaps they’re genuinely afraid that I’m going to invade their personal space and start touching them!

I know I’m being a little tongue in cheek about this, but I wonder if it is a real fear for some people?

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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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One Response to We Don’t Feel Faces!

  1. fleurette67 says:

    I know exactly where you’re coming from
    Hi Mel! I haven’t read the book you mentioned in this here entry,but I know exactly where you’re coming from when you cringed at the mention in the book of the blind grandmother wanting to feel someone’s face. To my shame, I allowed a sighted person to make me feel their face once, but no way would I ever do that again! That was a one-off embarrassing experience, with someone I only met once: thankfully all my sighted face-to-face friends and acquaintances have never expected me to feel their faces, and I wouldn’t do it if they asked me. If sighted people get the impression, from fiction, that blind people have a habit offeeling other people’s faces, not only have they got this wrong, but, as you have pointed out here, it may also explain some sighted people’s reluctance to mix with blind people. In my opinion, those fiction writers should do a bit more research about how blind people interact before making out that rather embarrassing actions such as feeling people’s faces are normal blind behaviour.

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