Today in Is Britney Free Yet news, Britney Spears is finally free. After thirteen years, her conservatorship has ended. Is this the one and only case of hashtag activism working? Of course, there was a lot more to it than that, but #FreeBritney started as an online movement, the wider population becoming aware of not only Britney’s circumstances, but also the issue of conservatorships in general, thanks to hashtags and social media posts, and eventually podcasts and documentaries. Following the official end of her conservatorship Friday, Britney thanked her fans on Instagram, hundreds of whom were outside the courthouse in Los Angeles to celebrate on her behalf:
It is genuinely great that Britney is her own woman once again, even if The New York Times celebrated with a slightly creepy profile of her fiancé, Sam Asghari, but the larger issue of conservatorships and the US legal system remains. Conservatorships are ripe for abuse, so ripe, in fact, Rosamund Pike stars in an entire movie about it. There are, of course, circumstances in which a conservatorship makes sense, such as a family member stricken with dementia who needs someone to act on their behalf. But what has emerged from the Britney Spears conservator battle is not just how this one famous woman was made to suffer under an imperfect system, but how so many more people, without her power, platform, or access, are also suffering under the same system. But no one is hashtagging #FreeDebbieDownTheStreet, you know?
Can you imagine what this system is like for the disempowered? Britney Spears, with all her privilege, required years and years, many lawyers, and a global movement on her behalf to get her day in court and finally reclaim her life. How is a normal person supposed to fight this system if they are unjustly caught up in it? I hope Britney enjoys herself. Record new music, or not, perform or don’t perform, do whatever makes her happiest for as long as she wants. But I also hope some of the #FreeBritney energy gets turned toward reforming the entire conservator framework. #BritneyIsFree #NowDoEveryoneElse
Live long and gossip,