In the western world, we enjoy various freedoms including the right to vote, speak without being censored and live an autonomous life on our own terms. But, what happens when those freedoms are viciously taken away — and we end up becoming a prisoner in a so-called ‘free world’?
Friends, this is exactly what happened to Britney Spears. And we need to talk about it.
If you don’t follow pop culture, here’s a quick recap:
Back in 2008, Britney Spears had a breakdown. While no one aside from Britney herself can detail what lead to her being institutionalized on a 5150 — otherwise known as an emergency 72 psychiatric hold — we can speculate.
For years prior, Britney rose to become an international icon and pop princess. She then married her backup dancer and had two children back-to-back. When her youngest child was just a few months old, her marriage crumbled and she began divorce proceedings. Throughout all of this she was being chased and stalked by paparazzi.
Imagine being in her position. Being a new parent. Going through a divorce. And having people camp outside your home, invade your privacy, and stalk your every move. Waiting to catch you at your most vulnerable moment so they could exploit your image and sell it for profit. It’s horrifying.
I have my own assumptions about Britney, having been through childbirth myself and struggling to adapt to the demands of motherhood, I suspect she may have suffered from postpartum depression. But rather than help her and offer her love and support, those around her exploited her.
As a result of this breakdown and 5150 hold, Britney Spears was placed in an involuntary conservatorship in 2008. Now, nearly 14 years later she’s still in this conservatorship. She’s not allowed to get married, have more children, or make financial or career decisions on her own. She can’t drive a car, make improvements to her home, or even go on vacation without approval.
Yet, she is allowed to work 80+ hours a week and earn a living not just for herself — but for a crew of other people on her payroll. It’s interesting she’s capable of memorizing countless dance routines, performing shows, making new music, and going on promotional tours but she’s apparently not mentally fit enough to decide how to decorate her house, how long her vacation should be, or who she can hang out with.
How does Britney’s lack of autonomy impact you?
If you’ve read this far it’s possible you’re thinking, “I feel bad for her, but how does her lack of freedom impact me?”
This is a fair question and one that’s important to address. Britney’s lack of autonomy impacts you because if one of the most famous pop stars in the world can have her right to personhood stripped from her grasp overnight, anyone can. You included.Britney's lack of autonomy impacts you because if one of the most famous pop stars in the world can have her right to personhood stripped from her grasp overnight, anyone can. #freebritney Click To Tweet
The whole legal system around conservatorship needs to be audited and updated. There are too many gaps, too many opportunities to exploit the people who are supposed to be protected for personal gain. And if Britney Spears was coerced into silence for 13 years because of internal threats to drug her and take away the little remaining freedoms she has, imagine people without her platform and position.
When I heard her full testimony last night, my heart HURT. Her father and his entire camp spent years painting her as incapable, and she legitimately believed if she spoke out then no one would believe her.
Listen for yourself:
We are SPIRITUAL beings having a human experience. When we see injustice it is our DUTY to speak up and stand with those who are being marginalized. It doesn’t matter how much money or fame someone has — they can STILL be vulnerable and taken advantage of.
Friends, that’s what’s happening here. And you can do something to help — take a moment to sign this petition to add your voice of support to the #freebritney movement. Let’s make sure Britney receives her freedom and the system as a whole is placed under a microscope and reviewed.
Abusive is never okay and when we see it, we must stand together to stop it.
Sending love, Xx,
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer and life-long student of the universe. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to simplifying the spiritual experience and making it attainable for everyone. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest, and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness, and empowered living.