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#FreeBritney open thread

#FreeBritney! Open thread

Britney Spears is currently fighting to free herself from what seems to be an incredibly abusive conservatorship that has for 13 years basically put her entire life — from her finances to her reproductive choices — in the hands of her estranged father.

Seems like something we should be discussing, so here’s an open thread. And feel free to post links to anything interesting you’ve read about it.

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Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

Conservatorship is quite often abusive ; one of the problem is that there’s little accountability. One of the other is that people very often underestimate the ability of people to deal with their own affairs. No opinion about the Britney one because I don’t know all the facts.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
1 month ago

Rather surprisingly, given it’s reputation for fluff and bullshit, the Metro is supporting her hard.
Even ran a piece today with video from a backing dancer’s audition (he didn’t get a callback, sadly) supporting her statement that she’s in charge at rehearsals.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
1 month ago

Aside from the horrifying ableism, that thing where fathers are assumed to own their daughters’ bodies? This, right here. Britney’s father is towards the deep end of a spectrum; the shallow end is men we’ve all met, the ones who joke about shooting any boy their daughter sleeps with.

I’m praying that she wins this case, but very scared that she won’t. Even with the widespread support and belief of her account, the legal system is stacked against her.

epitome of incomrepehensibility

It’s kind of shocking that someone so famous, with theoretically a lot going for her, would have to endure this for so many years.

So yes, #FreeBritney, but I also worry for people who are in situations like this and don’t have much money/fame/influence. Hopefully this case goes well and people can point to it as a precedent.

Contrapangloss
Contrapangloss
1 month ago

I hope she is successful.

I’ve been super distracted by other news though. Putting it in a spoiler, so people can better pass over it if we want the thread to stay on #FreeBrittany and not an off topic SJ issue.

CW: Literal child murder and genocide

You all don’t have to engage with it, but I’m deeply worried for some of my friends with the news from Canada on the “residential schools”.

Because I know the same things happened in Alaska. It’s been an open secret for far too long, but the confirmation of what the MINIMUM was is still heartbreaking and rage inducing. One school that was STILL OPEN when I was in pre-K killed over 700 kids, and the count keeps growing.

And my friends know of things that are still happening, like vandalism, assaults, missing and murdered women, and…

I feel like I’m failing them by being so paralyzed and saddened, when they’ve been goddamned telling us about this. I shouldn’t be surprised. I should be doing something.

But I don’t know how to provide the support they need to deal with their own rage and heartbreak. And I cry and talk about the bloody heat wave instead. And then I don’t see any of my friends outside the indigenous speaking about it, when my friends inside are reeling, and I know I’m failing them.

So yeah.

Posting here, because NO WAY IN HELL am I going to make their lives harder by demanding they help me with my feels, when they’ve got so much on their plate. Because I need to get a handle on this and start being helpful.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
1 month ago

@contrapangloss

OT reply

Be there for them. Don’t make no fuss or dance about it, just be your usual helpful, cheery self. If they want to talk, they will, and you’ll listen. If they don’t want to talk it over with outsiders (which is highly possible) then you’re still there for them regardless. A bit of normality in a bad time.

Sounds simple – it’s not. The urge to sympathise, apologise, make some sort of gesture is kinda overwhelming at times – but it is not appropriate. You knew that already though.

Last edited 1 month ago by Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Tovius
1 month ago

For those who aren’t familiar with #FreeBritney and want to know more, this video from last year gives a good overview.

https://youtu.be/sRUkPZ1Fbqo

Mrs. Obed Marsh
Mrs. Obed Marsh
1 month ago

I’m hoping that the press around this case will lead to serious reforms around guardianship laws. Then again, an awful lot of the discourse goes along the lines of “She’s not disabled enough to be treated like this!” So I’m not holding my breath.

bumblebug
bumblebug
1 month ago

As horrifying as the whole situation is, the thing that bothers me the most is the forced use of birth control. It feels like reproductive coercion or rape.

Moggie
Moggie
1 month ago

@Contrapangloss
I want to see the fucking Catholic church made to pay reparations. How can they continue to get away with countless lives ruined, and even lives ended? Bankrupt the fuckers!

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
1 month ago

If someone as rich and famous as Britney can have this horrific conservatorship, imagine how the average person suffers.

Her father is a misogynist creep and in a truly just world, Brit would get to have a conservatorship over *him* for a while. Hopefully she gets to choose his nursing home.

Snowberry
Snowberry
1 month ago

Geez, “free Brittney” has been around for awhile, why hasn’t it been resolved yet?

A lot of discourse which I am seeing around this goes more or less like “We don’t know the details of her mental illness, best to stay out of it” which tends to be responded to with things like “What mental illness? All we know is that she had a handful of public meltdowns in response to stalkers and abusive tabloid reporters and abusive tabloid reporter stalkers, and maybe issues with alcohol, but that was basically par for the course for celebrities back then, particularly young women!”

It’s basically a conflict between people who assume that Britney Spears has some mental illness which hasn’t been disclosed to the public, which in turn is based on pure speculation – and people who believe that regardless of if it was ever true, and what happened in the past, there’s no evidence for this being a major issue now. And then there are people who point out that either way, neither her father nor the lawyer involved with the conservatorship appear to have anything close to her best interests at heart, but this largely gets lost or ignored in the discussions.

Even with the details which can be reasonably confirmed, it’s a mess. Generally, I don’t particularly care about celebrities at all, but if I had to have an opinion, it would be this: “It’s been 13 years, at least give her a reasonable chance to prove that she doesn’t need a conservator. Since the system doesn’t seem to be well-designed to do that when the conservators are exploiters and/or abusers, probably we should do something about it. Though personally my civil rights and social justice priorities lie elsewhere, so sadly I’ll leave it to other people to deal with it.”

Higherednerd
Higherednerd
1 month ago

A lawyer commenting on this noted that conservatorships are rarely for people who can earn their own money and maintain their own home. So, she can’t have children or get married, can’t upgrade her kitchen, and can’t control her money? But she IS allowed to perform and be a cash cow for all the people who surround her with their hands out? Very strange. Sounds more like human trafficking than a beneficial relationship.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
1 month ago

@Higherednerd

This is where the ableism thing comes in though. Conservatorships for people who are too disabled to live on their own also have a high rate of being abusive.

The correct answer isn’t to force disabled adults to live as if they were children; it’s to have a robust and accessible welfare state so that we don’t have to earn our survival, and to demolish the stigma around disability so that both the state and people in our lives actually give a shit about us.

Sincerely,
A disabled woman with gonzo abusive family, who could wind up under conservatorship herself if she’s not careful.

Allandrel
Allandrel
1 month ago

@Cyborgette

Well, there’s always the conservative solution: Let us die, and so decrease the surplus population.

Sheila Crosby
Sheila Crosby
1 month ago

@contrapangloss

Schools
All the hugs. You can vent here as much as you like,of course. We’ve got your back.

Obviously you need a baby hedgehogcomment image

And a baby koalacomment image

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 month ago

@Allandrel : so true.

@cyborgette : also, conservatorship was created for a specific subgroup : the people who have heavy versions of dementia (of various type, like typically Alzheimer). If someone is able to construct consistent comments on a blog, I would say that it’s well outside the target of conservatorship. That person just need enough resources to live.

That being said, conservatorship is often abusive even when applied to persons who really need that kind of help. It’s just not supervised enough, and give too much power to a single person. While actually heavily dependant peoples are the only one I have seen with reasonable conservatorship, the system is still way too often abusive.

Full Metal Ox
1 month ago

More brain cleanser for those in need: Sparky Mulaney, as a little girl, was denied the Batman-themed birthday party she’d always wanted because “Batman is for boys.”

For her 32nd birthday, her boyfriend made good, with compound interest; this Geek Boy’s a keeper:

https://twitter.com/SparkyMularkey/status/1399379706533888002

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
1 month ago

Seconding the “decent welfare state” alternative as superior. But it needs to be enough to have modest urban digs, plus free use of the public transit there.

Conservatorships sound more like a punishment than a support, from what’s been written here. And that leads to its own thought: what about using something similar as an alternative to prisons? Now obviously it has to have checks and balances against one person having too much power (indeed, that already happens with parole officers), and it needs to be appropriately scoped (someone like Bernie Madoff should have to have a co-signer on bigger financial transactions, so they can never pull another scam without the complicity of whoever’s supervising their finances, but shouldn’t need permission to buy a chocolate bar at a convenience store or to get or reverse a vasectomy). Prisons would be for recidivist violent offenders only: someone who, if they were free, would attack and perhaps kill people. So, serial killers, serial rapists, and others who don’t seem to be rehabilitatable and whose threat inherently can’t be neutralized except by physically separating them from potential victims.

To limit abuse of the conservator position, and also simultaneously to limit the potential for the conservator to become corrupted (e.g., a con artist convinces theirs that it’d be more lucrative for them to partner with them in scams than to do their job honestly and just collect its pay), there shouldn’t be a fixed assignment of one particular one to each convict. It should be a rotating pool of them, day to day, and with formal mechanisms for lodging complaints about them. And they should all be trained to resist the manipulations of sociopaths, though perhaps the most incorrigible and effective-at-manipuluation ones would end up needing imprisonment. They also would have to be less like typical conservators now (family members, often) and more like parole officers (but without the power to imprison). Officers of the court, probably with relevant training (e.g. law and accountancy for supervising convicted scammers), given power of attorney over aspects of the criminal’s life relevant to their crime in such a way that they can’t repeat that crime without the watcher’s cooperation.

Who?
Who?
29 days ago

Control of that is important. We have a similar system with a lot of checks. I don’t think every case is abusive. Some people can’t manage their own life and need help. I think of cases were parents have children, who stay practicly children their whole life or children who have to take care of their parants, when they get older and can’t do it anymore. Of course it gets complicated if the interest of the caretaker is targeted. Here you need a neutral person to make this decision.
But for an adult to be under control for 13 years, is a nightmare. There should be a choice of the gardian. There should be checks if it is still necesary. If it is necesary there should be as much freedom as posible. This is scary as hell. I hope Britney Spears gets a life back.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meani
29 days ago

Anyone want to bet that Britney will be given back control over her life after she’s stopped making gazillions of dollars a year, thus unable to support her ‘caretakers’ in the style they’ve become accustomed too?

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
29 days ago

I hope Britney gets entirely free of the conservatorship and gets her own damn money back instead of it all going to the parasites.

At minimum, it’d be nice if at least her father’s money-grubbing patriarchal bullshit paws were removed.

For sticking with her through all this crap, she might have actually finally found a decent boyfriend.