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Christine Keeler

(11 Posts)
BadenBadenBadenBaden Wed 06-Dec-17 15:52:39

I knew vaguely about the Profumo scandal from politics/history at school, but I didn't know much about Christine Keeler. E.g. abused by her stepfather growing up and then later had a botched abortion at 17, which meant she gave birth prematurely but the baby only survived for a few days.

I gather she was treated v badly by the press (surprise surprise) - was anyone around then, or grew up around then? What was the perception of what happened? Either in the press or generally people's reactions. I was only born in the 80s.

I was reading about how the men saw women like Christine as disposable. Society has changed a lot since then, but I still think a lot of women are still seen as disposable ime.

deydododatdodontdeydo Wed 06-Dec-17 16:03:21

I don't know much about it (wasn't around then), but was shocked to read that the MP who brought down MacMillan at the time referred to her as a whore in parliament.
I can't imagine today's MPs using the term.

MsGameandWatching Wed 06-Dec-17 16:11:05

When the film “Scandal” came out my Mum talked about her and it wasn’t in a good way. She called her some unpleasant names and said she’d ruined lives. I think that was the perception at the time. My Mum said that was something sly and unlikable about her, that she had known what she was doing and that’s why she carried the can while Mandy Rice Davies got off lightly in comparison. My Mum though was very much a bosom hoikng prude a real product of her times - virginity is a crystal jewel to be given to a special man 🙄 and single mothers are sluts, blonde women are tarty and go after other women’s husbands etc etc etc. Unfortunately I think my Mum very much reflected what the majority thought. I was surprised to learn CK was only 19 at the time - a teenager and only just a legal adult. I had thought she was in her mid twenties. Horrendous how she was treated and vilified in the press and the person on the street.

Terrylene Wed 06-Dec-17 16:31:09

I was struck by how young she was.

I think the legal adult age was 21 then.

eddiemairswife Wed 06-Dec-17 16:35:22

I remember it very well. I wasn't particularly surprised about John Profumo and others having a fling with various girls; what did shock me at the time was he lied about it to Parliament. Another aspect to the case was that he was married to a well-known British film star, Valerie Hobson, though I think she gave up acting when she got married.
Profumo did the honourable thing and left the House of Commons; he spent the rest of his life working for charity.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 06-Dec-17 17:59:05

I think the legal adult age was 21 then

There is no adult legal age. At 16 Keeler could leave school (leaving age was 15 then ) leave home, get married (parental consent needed in England if over 16 but under 18, no consent needed in Scotland)

She could not vote until she was 21 but the idea that a 19 year old is not an adult is very far from the case.

Butterymuffin Wed 06-Dec-17 18:05:52

But there's currently a debate being had about the vulnerability of 19 year old Lily Madigan (other threads in this very section as well as generally) so clearly these days Keeler could have been part of that same argument.

MsGameandWatching Wed 06-Dec-17 18:07:47

that a 19 year old is not an adult is very far from the case.

Depends on the person really doesn’t it? I was a complete idiot at aged 19. Made very silly choices that I had to live with for years, still am really. I don’t remember any of my friends being all that switched on either. Those that were doing ok had really good parental support still.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 06-Dec-17 19:25:07

This was 1961/62. Different times I was born in 1959 and even then the majority of people I was at school with were working at 17/18, a few were married.

I don't remember the actual events but the case was and still is famous. Although it is more than one case really. She served 9 months for perjury which is at the lower end of sentencing for that crime.

Possibly not lying in court helped Mandy Rice-Davies and the clever and much quoted "he would, wouldn't he" comment.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 06-Dec-17 19:33:45

She was 19, he was 48

Absolutely revolting. Felt tremendously sorry for her sad

Horrible example of how men viewed women at the time

Pagwatch Wed 06-Dec-17 19:34:15

It was a huge case. Profumo had to resign because he lied in parliament which was a huge deal.

She wasn't talked about in dreadful terms in my house so I'm not sure that was the entire perception. I think Profumo was seen as being indiscreet in a 'he had his head turned' kind of way which is of course preposterous.

He left public life and dedicated the rest of his time to charity and altruistic endeavours.
It was dealt with in a really salacious way by the press obviously because it was glamorous and the world enjoyed a pillar of society being caught with 'pretty young things' but the big thing was the lying.

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