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.

September 2014

“There is no way we can protect ourselves from the impact of television.”

Mightier Than the Sword, 1985

Over explicit material… isolates the viewer’s/reader’s intellect and turns him into no more or less than a voyeur.”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“To be placed, not on the top shelf but at a level where almost any child could see and pick it up is surely the height of unresponsibility.”

Letter to the Chairman of John Menzies, 1984

On pornography: “Many who shout loudest against commercial exploitation are quite prepared to encourage a market dependent on human exploitation of the crudest kind.”

Quite Contrary, 1993

“It is important to expose the invalidity of the no censorship at any cost philosophy for can anyone in their right mind agree with the proposition that there should be no limits placed on the public presentation of sex and violence?”

Mightier Than The Sword, 1985

“The young are exposed to the predatory emotional and intellectual clutches of the permissive lobby.”

What Ever Happened to Sex, 1977

“I would defend everyone’s right to express his ideas and experiences however turbulent or destructive these may be. The issue of control arises at the point when creative exercises are offered for public presentation.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

“We are already depraved; we remain callously unmoved as the actors and the models of the [porn] industry are involved in horrific, depraved practices.”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“Everything, in whatever circumstances, depends up on the outcome of the battle between good and evil, a battle which is both personal and collective.”

Quite Contrary, 1993

“Today we teach children at school to read a text critically and to decode the message; we do not have such a general education as regards the visual media.”

Mightier Than The Sword, 1985

“The pressure of the American pornographic industry increases rather than diminishes.”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“The people who have switched off in fury know that part of their money is being used to produce that programme.”

Cleaning Up TV, 1967

“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