The brand new Britney Spears documentary provides a shocking angle for exploring incapacity rights | Boing Boing

The new Britney Spears documentary offers a surprising angle for exploring disability rights | Boing Boing


I really like popular culture. However I do not pay that a lot consideration to true popular culture, the issues which might be legitimately, vastly common. Perhaps that is simply the ingrained brainwashing that will get leftover when your pal’s older brother introduces you to punk rock in sixth grade. But I believe that such a bent is not notably uncommon amongst BoingBoing readership.

Put one other manner: y’all most likely do not give a shit about Britney Spears. However, as the newest episode of The New York Instances Presents explains, you most likely ought to: even the ACLU agrees that Spears’ father took benefit of her psychological skills and cognitive situation to revenue from her stardom, robbing his daughter from her proper to autonomy within the course of.

Loads of individuals will really feel that preliminary impulse to assume, “Okay, so why ought to I care? She’s a friggin’ world well-known pop star.” However the irritating reality is that the scenario that Britney Spears is going through is unfortunately fairly widespread amongst individuals with bodily and psychological disabilities. Individuals with disabilities do not even have entry to the identical marriage equality rights that LGBTQ+ individuals fought for. Because the ACLU defined:

Britney Spears is topic to a court-imposed conservatorship (in most different states this construction is known as a guardianship). Which means a courtroom has decided she is unable to supply correctly for her meals, clothes, or shelter. The courtroom has then granted different individuals — her conservators — the authorized proper to make choices for her. Information stories point out that this has been the case for Britney since 2008. Whereas we have no idea the main points of Spears’ conservatorship, usually, conservators like these in her case have the power to make choices about all elements of her life — the place she lives, the place and the way she spends her cash, what medicines she takes, who she spends time with, and different choices.

Conservatorship means the courtroom is taking away the civil liberties from one individual and giving them to another person. Typically it is ALL of that individual’s civil rights and civil liberties, and generally it is partial. However it’s the courtroom weighing into the individual’s life and saying you, as an individual with a incapacity, are now not in a position to make choices about your self and livelihood — similar to the place you reside, and the way you assist and feed your self — and we’re placing another person answerable for making these choices. As a result of it is such an excessive step to take, it is actually imagined to be a final resort. And as soon as a courtroom has put an individual beneath a conservatorship, solely a courtroom can raise that conservatorship. 

I assumed “Free Britney!” was only a bizarre, foolish fan tradition meme. I used to be improper. So I like to recommend watching the brand new episode of The New York Instances Presents—accessible above, or on FX or Hulu—to be taught extra in regards to the cruelties of conservatorship because it pertains to incapacity rights. Dare I say: I now know that it is poisonous.

How Conservatorship Threatens Britney Spears’ Civil Rights [Eva Lopez / ACLU]

ACLU Uses Britney Spears’ Conservatorship Case as a Way to Discuss a Disability Legal Issues [Princess Weekes / The Mary Sue]

The Long Fight to Free Britney [The New York Times]

The Handling of Britney Spears [Liz Day / The New York Times]

Full Disclosure: I’m employed by Wirecutter, which is owned by the New York Instances Firm, which owns The New York Instances Presents.



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