Mary Whitehouse

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Mary Whitehouse (13 June 1910 – 23 November 2001) was an English social activist known for her opposition to social liberalism and the mainstream British media.


  • [Television] may teach self-interest rather than philanthropy, violence rather than gentleness, a disregard for human dignity rather than a respect for it. It may not always teach the truth but teach it does, and it is more than time that responsible people both within and outside the broadcasting professions said boldly what is so obvious in commonsense terms — we cannot understand what is happening in international, cultural, economic, political and social affairs without coming to grips with the way in which television influences virtually all our behavioural and thought processes.
  • Bad language coarsens the whole quality of our life. It normalises harsh, often indecent language, which despoils our communication.
    • As quoted by Jonathan Brown in "Mary Whitehouse: To some a crank, to others a warrior", The Independent, (24 November 2001).

Quotes about Whitehouse[edit]

  • She was in some obvious senses narrow-minded. She believed with passion that she was promoting virtue and righteousness; but her overriding puritanism determined that her main focus was on sex, followed by bad language and violence. Odd: if she had reversed the order, she might have been more effective.
    • Richard Hoggart, "Valid arguments lost in an obsession over sex", The Guardian (24 November, 2001).
  • She'll be sadly missed, I imagine, but not by me.
    • Bernard Manning, as quoted by John Ezard in "Campaigner Mary Whitehouse dies, aged 91", The Guardian (24 November, 2001).
  • I always felt that Mary Whitehouse thought of Doctor Who as a children's programme, for little children, and it wasn't... so she was really coming at the show from the wrong starting-point.
    • Philip Hinchcliffe, as quoted in the documentary on the DVD "Doctor Who: The Pyramids of Mars", BBC Worldwide, 2004.
  • [The] flak from Mary Whitehouse...was quite unwarranted. I think the kind of person who would have been upset by Doctor Who would have been upset by anything.
    • Elizabeth Sladen, as quoted in the documentary on the DVD "Doctor Who: The Pyramids of Mars", BBC Worldwide, 2004.

External links[edit]

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