Being an American, I had never heard of Mary Whitehouse until a few years ago. I mostly knew her as the inspiration behind the noise band’s name. And I knew she had something to do with censorship on British TV. Most people in the media portray her as a meddling, old, religious fanatic who was out to spoil everybody’s fun. And they mocked her accordingly.
Fast forward some 30 years to 2015 and we still have a band of Mary Whitehouses, but instead of claiming Christianity as their inspiration, they do it in the name of identity politics.
You see a Mary Whitehouse in every campus classroom that practices “trigger warnings” and “micro aggressions.” You see Mary Whitehouse in the pages of your favorite clickbait websites. You see Mary Whitehouse in the faces of people like Anita Sarkeesian and John McIntosh and Coralie Alison. You see it in the latest update of your favorite web comic.
Mary Whitehouse corporally died 14 years ago. But her spirit lives in in far more rancid ways than she could have ever dreamed. While the inspiration might be different, these men and women who have made every politically incorrect utterance forbidden are every bit as much a doddering old moralist as Mary Whitehouse was, the only difference is that the people who opposed Whitehouse are the same ones who are welcoming the new totalitarianism with open arms.