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.

December 2014

“I have a very great hope for the future, a very great hope for where we now stand.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

“Is not the greatest threat to us all that we shall become desensitized, that we shall no longer be moved by suffering, no longer capable of recognizing the obscene; so far removed from the magic of our childhood ourselves that we no longer preserve it for our children.”

Quite Contrary, 1993

“Advocates of obscenity do not seem to realize that by claiming exemption from the law for every kind of creative activity, however sick or subversive, they are obliterating the distinction between art and trash.”

Quite Contrary, 1993

“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

“You yourself are a walking demonstration of the power of television to mislead the public .”

Student Union President after hearing Mary Whitehouse speak, 1971

“Please consider whether the current massive television coverage of acts of vandalism and violence is contributing to the spread of the riots.”

Mightier Than The Sword, 1985

“We shall raise a generation which either grasps at sex as a physical lust or treats it simply as a passing fancy, no more.”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“The effect upon so-called entertainment programmes of the violence in news coverage has been profound; in order to attract viewers techniques of violence in drama and documentary have to step up their impact.”

A Most Dangerous Woman, 1982

“I’m a great believer in democracy & democracy only works when people get involved in the forces that are open to shaping their lives & their society.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

“Sex binds and sex blinds.”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“Civilisation survives through the care each generation has of the next and by the willingness or the individual to accept limits on his own freedom for the sake of society as a whole.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

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