Robert Webb ‘What are we saying to a boy when we’re telling him to man up or act like a man?’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Well-known for his comedic roles on the small screen in ‘Peep Show’ and ‘That Mitchell & Webb Look’, Robert Webb joined The Ryan Tubridy Show today to discuss his new book ‘How Not to be a Boy’.

The book explores Roberts own life entirely from the perspective of gender and masculinity – not the typical approach to an autobiography.

“I’ve always been interested in it, because I’ve always seen it as a bit of a tight fit when I was growing up, that boys were supposed to be good at maths and football… being cheeky and noisy, and I was almost completely mute.”

Robert was the youngest of three boys and admits his early family life in the 1970’s was not always the happiest. His father had a ‘short fuse’ and punished his sons physically.  When Robert was five years old his mother divorced his father and later remarried.  She died when he was seventeen and Robert admits that he didn’t allow himself to grieve – another motivating factor when he sat down to write the book.

“Quite often, what if felt like to me was I was being told to shrug it off, bottle it up, ignore it, pretend that feeling isn’t happening and if it comes out at all it often comes out as anger”

It’s a revealing chat between Robert and Ryan.  To listen back in full, click here.

© The Listener 2017

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