Note: I feel compelled to remind the reader that this post is based on my observations and opinions–I don’t know Britney Spears or her family or her lawyers–just saying. Just so you know–I think that even if someone (no matter who it is) is as squirrelly as a fruitcake, they should be able to spend their own money any way they want and live any kind of life they desire, so long as it doesn’t bring harm to themselves or anyone else. IMHO #FreeBritney
This is an unusual topic for me because it deals with someone I don’t know. Any information I have is second hand through the media BUT enough truth has surfaced in this particular story that illustrates a grievous wrong-doing to a young woman who deserves her own life. I support the #FreeBritney movement and hope that it is a catalyst for legal change and safeguards so this type of situation doesn’t continue to occur.
I’d love to know what you think about this situation…leave me a comment.
Okay, so here goes…
I just finished reading an article in The New Yorker entitled BRITNEY SPEARS’S CONSERVATORSHIP NIGHTMARE: How the pop star’s father and a team of lawyers seized control of her life–and have held on to it for thirteen years. Written by Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino.
As I read this article, I got angry, was flabbergasted, and a sense protectiveness grew within me toward this young woman I only know through the media.
Britney Spears with her all-American good looks, her wide, friendly smile, and enormous talent has been a part of the music industry for years. She’s grown up in the spotlight, fallen from grace a time or two, and is now imprisoned in a situation that offers little to no self determination in the direction of her life.
I recently watched a BBC documentary around the whole #FreeBritney movement and was astonished at the fact that the courts could impose such wide ranging restrictions on an individual without a bunch of doctors, psychiatrists, and experts.
I was equally astonished by the support shown by strangers toward a person admired from afar. The organizers and founders of the #FreeBritney movement are super fans and people who can see the absurdity of the system.
Needless to say I’m more than a bit gobsmacked that the courts allow this to continue. A person/lawyer/stranger is appointed to determine what another person can do whether it’s in their best interest or not–for an undetermined amount of time. How can that be legal? It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
While I understand the idea of protecting a person from themselves and possible self harm or poor decisions, where does it say that someone can dictate how self earned money is spent, who a person can communicate with, and/or how they live their life–for the rest of their life?!
What happened to “the land of the free”?
For those who don’t realize what’s going on and why Britney and the #FreeBritney movement is in the news so much lately, it’s because a conservatorship (also know as a guardianship order) was imposed on Britney Spears by the California courts in 2008.
It was time when Spears was going through a rough patch in her life–and of course was (and still is) constantly hounded by paparazzi–she cut off all her hair, shaved her head, and smashed car windows with an umbrella. Needless to say, a bit of a speed bump for sure.
But, imho, what people forget is that this young superstar is human and doesn’t have to be “on” all the time. Every move she took was recorded and dissected (just like Princess Diana –rip) and mental health issues are bound to creep in.
The pop-star has been working from a young age and has not been afforded a normal life. She’s done what many child-stars do–the drinking, the drugs, the promiscuity. Think back to Justin Bieber…yet he retained his freedom.
What’s different is that this “conservatorship” has continued past the initial crisis and has been used as a powerful tool of control over her personal choice and freedoms.
Britney has told the judge that she has an IUD and is not “allowed” to remove it even though she wants the opportunity to have another child.
All control–even her own reproductive choices–have been made by her father and lawyers.
The topic is so dystopian in nature it reminds me of Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. Like, wtf? Like omfg #FreeBritney.
In The New Yorker article, they say…
Spears, who is thirty-nine, has spent the past thirteen years living under a conservatorship, a legal structure in which a person’s personal, economic, and legal decision-making power is ceded to others. Called a guardianship in most states, the arrangement is intended for people who cannot take care of themselves. Since the establishment of Spears’s conservatorship, she has released four albums, headlined a global tour that grossed a hundred and thirty-one million dollars, and performed for four years in a hit Las Vegas residency. Yet her conservators, who include her father, Jamie Spears, have controlled her spending, communications, and personal decisions.“Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino: The New Yorker
So how does a young woman who has so much power and earning potential still end up controlled by the courts?
That really is the ultimate question, isn’t it? Something’s really, really wrong here.
If Britney can go to work and earn money then she’s able to care for herself. The thing is that people around her who instituted and keep this conservatorship going, don’t like how she was spending her own money and so they took control and don’t want to let go. Hell, they got it made–they live off her money. Bastards.
It’s all about money, power, and control–and it makes me sick.
Britney Spears has been through enough in her young life and should have the right to do whatever she wants, when she wants.
This young woman hasn’t been given a fair chance in life. Right from the get go she was a wage earner and financial supporter of the adults in her life. She has money and fame but what’s all that without freedom?
A young person needs to know they have someone in their corner who will go to bat for them. Who believes in them as a person…not as a paycheck or meal ticket. I seriously hope she finds that and has an Auntie who can just hold her when she needs to cry and teach her how to make her way in the world.
I’d recommend you read the entire article in The New Yorker. It’s not only very scary what people have been able to get away with, but it’s also very sad that visible family support appears lacking.
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