Mary Whitehouse stepped onto the public stage 50 years ago in 1964. To some she was the guardian of Christian family values, to others a self-appointed busybody. She spent decades campaigning for a responsible media and against harmful material. Ironically much of what we know about her views has come to us filtered by the media itself. This is Mary Whitehouse in her own words taken from the books she wrote during her lifetime.

May 2014

“Satire, that matchless weapon for exposing the unworthy and the dangerous, has lost its power and become little more than a dirty joke.”

Cleaning Up TV, 1967

“We see ourselves as members of a community trying to think out what contribution we can make to television as well as the contribution television can make to society.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

“A nation’s youth is its greatest asset.”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“The obsession with sex in our day has its roots in a deep shrinking away from reality.”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“What is happening now is the inevitable sequel to the ridicule and destruction of moral values.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

On OFCOM: “Instead of the government providing a vehicle for the voice of the viewer it has provided little more than a convenient means for the broadcasters to deflect criticism of their programmes.”

Quite Contrary, 1993

“One is frequently challenged to define pornography: pornography does dirt on sex, it does violence to it too.”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“I sometimes think that we have been attacked as we have, not because the perpetrators of TV violence believed we were the cranks they called us but because they knew we were touching on the truth.”

A Most Dangerous Woman, 1982

“Did the producer stop to think of the effect of the dripping blood and swinging head on the countless children watching in the early evening?”

Letter to the BBC, 1967

“If switching off is all we do we become part of one of the fundamental problems.”

Mightier Than The Sword, 1985

“Does the right of the adult to have pornography freely available outstrip the right of the child to be protected from it?”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“We do not say we are always right, but we do say we have a right to be heard;  to deny us that right, to attempt to silence us by ridicule and abuse, as has been done, is to exercise censorship of a most dangerous kind.”

Cleaning Up TV, 1967


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