“”Arthur Negus has held Bristols ... And Mary Whitehouse has just taken Umbrage...
|—Monty Python's Election Night Special|
| Christ died for|
our articles about
|A multi-chef broth|
|Devil's in the details|
|The pearly gates|
Mary Whitehouse (1910-2001) (not to be confused with Amy Winehouse) was a nutjob Christian who campaigned for censorship in the media of everything in that she claimed was immoral. Among her more jawdropping achievements were causing the last prosecution for blasphemy in the UK, against Gay News, for publishing a poem which featured a gay Jesus.
She was the subject of the third verse of Pink Floyd's Pigs (Three Different Ones) on Animals (1977). Some radio stations in the US thought they were casting aspersion on their President (Jimmy Carter at the time) and banned the song. The lyrics "you fucked up old hag ha ha charade you are" (referring (possibly) to Margaret Thatcher) didn't help.
She was also referred to in the homoerotic film Sebastiane. In one scene, a group of Roman soldiers are holding a beetle-batte, forcing beetles to fight one another in a dirt ring, and naming them after famous women of the time, and implying they were embracing lesbians. But one beetle not named after a woman of the time was called "Maria Domus Alba", which is a literal Latin translation for "Mary White House". So essentially, the director of the film called Mary Whitehouse a lesbian. In Latin. Zing.
She's mentioned in the song Better Decide Which Side You're On by the Tom Robinson Band on their 1978 album Power In The Darkness. Not favorably.
In 1980, she launched a private prosecution against the director of a London play, The Romans In Britain, for depicting homosexual rape, which you could say is fair enough. The case collapsed when a defending lawyer extracted an admission from the principal witness, who had attended the play for the sole purpose of being offended, that he'd been sitting so far back that he couldn't have seen what he said had offended him.
Quentin Crisp said she was quite attractive. In considering this, it should be kept in mind that Crisp was most famous for being camp as a flamingo sipping a Cosmopolitan in Mayfair.
One of her most frequent attacks was on violence in the media, including Doctor Who (if you watch the show, you will know that one of its most frequent messages is that violence is bad), forgetting that violence on television isn't real.
To be fair
The Mary Whitehouse Experience was quite good.
- Monty Python, Season 2, Episode 6-4, 6:10
- "Hey you, Whitehouse, ha ha charade you are./You house proud town mouse, ha ha charade you are./You're trying to keep our feelings off the street,/you're nearly a real treat, all tight lips and cold feet,/and do you feel abused?""