Hackernoon logoThe Enslavement of an Icon - Who Will Free Britney Spears by@akasha

The Enslavement of an Icon - Who Will Free Britney Spears

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@akashaAkasha Rose

Decentralization & innovation maximalist. Slogging community manager. Virtual CMO.

The story of Britney Spears is a modern fairytale turned Brothers Grimm. Love or hate her music, Britney contributed to the evolution of the global pop music industry as we know it.

Trailblazing her own brand of sweet and sour girl sass, she got taken to the edge by the toxicity of the machine she sweated to build. Rather than support for her to make it out the other side of her long dark night, she got shut there forever, whilst being made to sing for her supper by the very people who had benefited from her fame most.

Britney Spears is still locked in her tower, spinning royalties from dusk till dawn, forced to use an IUD, perform, and restricted from seeing her children, marrying her partner, or talking to the media about her life.

This Slogging thread by Akasha Rose, Amy Tom, Justin Roberti, Linh Smooke and Laura W occurred in slogging's official #random channel, and has been edited for readability.

Akasha RoseJun 24, 2021, 1:31 AM

I've felt incensed about the Britney Speers conservatorship since I heard of it a few years ago. Her family have no right to make money from her royalties or by demanding that she perform. They have been using seeing her children as a means to control her, which is cruel and inhumane.
Finally, after years of people saying that Britney wants her voice to be heard, she has had a chance to go on record in court that they forcefully installed an IUD in her, which amongst other things is sexual assault.
A future of a peer to peer music industry, where artists receive income through NFTs and direct subscriptions from fans hopefully will remove the music industry middle men leaching off young and inexperienced talent.
In this day I can't fathom how women are still considered property to be controlled and farmed for their products, music or otherwise. She and I are a similar age and she has spent most of her adult life in captivity. https://twitter.com/enews/status/1407839047041626112

Amy TomJun 24, 2021, 1:34 AM

Something that comes to mind for me on this matter as well is that the ownership of pregnancy prevention falls on the woman. Imagine if a male singer was forced to get a vasectomy 🤔

Amy TomJun 24, 2021, 1:36 AM

Unfortunately with regards to the NFTs, I imagine that if she had created them that her family would have minted it and gotten all the money. Whoever is the original minter gets the profits, regardless of who is the artist

Amy TomJun 24, 2021, 1:38 AM

The debacle of women not having ownership of their music though is not new - think ke$ha and Taylor Swift as well

Akasha RoseJun 24, 2021, 1:39 AM

Whenever I see a perfume add with her image, or hear her music in a shopping mall, all I can think is that how can the corporations benefiting from the use of her music or image justify it to themselves. It's effectively slavery on a million dollar scale. It's so huge, people choose not to see it.

Akasha RoseJun 24, 2021, 3:00 AM

https://twitter.com/WomensAgenda/status/1407891763423899651
In this article she states that she was “forced” to tour in 2018 against her wishes, had all her possessions taken away, and had been put on lithium.

“I feel ganged up on. I feel bullied and I feel left out and alone…..In California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking, making anyone work against their will, taking all their possessions away credit card, cash, phone, passport.”
She said her father controlled the conservatorship, and approves all of the conditions she lives under.
“He was the one who approved all of it,” Spears said. “I cried on the phone for an hour, and he loved every minute of it.”
“The control he had over someone as powerful as me, as he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000 per cent. He loved it.”

Akasha RoseJun 24, 2021, 5:12 AM

“And the reason I’m telling you this is because I don’t think how the state of California can have all this written in the court documents from the time I showed up and do absolutely nothing.”

Justin RobertiJun 24, 2021, 12:53 PM

In a capitalist society with a legal structure that understands and respects money more than people, choosing to not maximize profits is often treated as the choice of someone who must be insane. Her father took two events - the birth of her first baby (to have leverage over her) and her short lived and pretty understandable breakdown and uses them as an excuse to trap her and force her to earn. And in our society it is unpopular to follow any principle beyond profit incentive, so he got away with it. My questions are how did this go on for 13 years and what will it take to give Britney her freedom.

Linh SmookeJun 24, 2021, 11:08 PM

I find it clever that as an artist, she’s been trying to tell us this for years with the content of her music! Toxic, Criminals, Womanizor, Circus…We love to tell this story of Britney as a victim, and in many ways, she is. But What I’d love more coming out of this long fight, is HERstory of how she does it and eventually claims ownership of her own shit. What her father and her conservators cannot do, is to BE BRITNEY, create music like her, connect to the audience like she does. And what has captivated believers of the #freebritney movement and any 90s-baby-believers like myself is this “bad-ass feminist” angle that people conveniently ignore when telling her story.

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Akasha RoseJun 24, 2021, 11:30 PM

I hope Britney is free soon too, Justin Roberti, for her sake and the sake of all young women who should be free to shine their talents. Although it was barely more than a decade ago, so much has changed and Cardi B and Beyonce have shown you can be a sexy AF international music sensation even after pregnancy and motherhood.

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Akasha RoseJun 24, 2021, 11:37 PM

Frankly, how dare they make her perform whilst taking her money.

Akasha RoseJun 24, 2021, 11:37 PM

And not letting her have a family.

Linh SmookeJun 24, 2021, 11:39 PM

yeah jamie spears should go to jail.

Justin RobertiJun 24, 2021, 11:43 PM

It's pretty typical for toxic personalities to use family (including kids) against a victim -- and for Narcissistic Personality Disorder parents to treat their children as property. It also makes it pretty specifically a matter of women's rights because every aspect of her sexuality which was shaped into a product when she was only 17 years old to then becoming a mother which seems to have been used as leverage to demand her compliance. It's medieval. I don't know much at all about her father, but his behavior is pretty on pattern for NPD, from the point of view of a layman who has studied NPD for years.

Linh SmookeJun 24, 2021, 11:45 PM

ur kidding, just learned about it A TON on tiktok the other day. That checks out.

Linh SmookeJun 24, 2021, 11:46 PM

not medical professionals and by no mean meant to diagnose people LOL

Justin RobertiJun 24, 2021, 11:49 PM

I am profoundly not an expert in this area, know next to nothing about the man, and I don't mean to suggest I have the ability to diagnose him or anyone. But I have listened to hundreds of victims of NPD tell their stories -- and some of the lifetime destructive things they do, don't just fall into consistent patterns, they become achingly common.

:brain: 1
Laura WJun 25, 2021, 1:47 PM

The loss of bodily autonomy for women is.....so saddening. With all this talk about Britney and what she has and has not been allowed to do under a conservatorship, it amounts to abuse. Sexual, Financial, Mental abuse.
There was a Netflix doc on Guarantorship that was heartwrenching but dealt with elder abuse. This is catching the world's eye because Britney is:

  1. Young
  2. Famous

Doesn't make it right for anyone to live under these kinds of restrictive terms. The control over her reproductive rights is sickening...just sickening.

Akasha RoseJun 26, 2021, 6:54 AM

It is achingly common Justin Roberti and the only difference here is the monumental scale of it - which is why it is in the media, rather than shuffled under the carpet as a "women's problem"

Linh SmookeJun 26, 2021, 1:41 PM

I love this perspective too (from the account So you wanna talk about it on Instagram)

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Linh SmookeJun 28, 2021, 8:29 PM

Akasha Rose let’s publish this one today.

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Akasha RoseJul 7, 2021, 8:48 AM

Miley put a call to free Britney into a song (again). Elon either tweeted to free Britney, or to pump a coin. Genuine support or cynical plays do you think Justin Roberti Linh Smooke Amy Tom Laura W and what role and responsibility does the media have in this?

Akasha RoseJul 7, 2021, 8:48 AM

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1411945961815826432

Akasha RoseJul 7, 2021, 8:50 AM

This is at least the second time Miley put it in a song apparently. https://twitter.com/futurehourz/status/1407924512893534213

Akasha RoseJul 7, 2021, 8:51 AM

Does she mean it? Or a cynical play. https://twitter.com/godneysjs/status/1411929410870075392

Akasha RoseJul 7, 2021, 8:52 AM

And people saying this. https://twitter.com/safekatyx/status/1408038248463560710

Akasha RoseJul 7, 2021, 8:57 AM

I was in a music store yesterday and they were playing Toxic. Should enterprise even be economically conservatorship? Or is it better for her contribution to music and culture continues to be recognised or people choose not to send royalties to the people who are farming and enslaving her at the risk of her legacy being forgotten? It's such a sad way for her story to ennd.

Linh SmookeJul 7, 2021, 3:00 PM

Elon: I don’t trust the guy- I think he’s peddling to pump dogecoin.

Linh SmookeJul 7, 2021, 3:01 PM

Miley: I’ve seen that episode and immediately thought of the parallel between her character's relationship with the manipulative aunt and Britney’s with her dad. Also the whole thing about being drugged against her will. Chilling.

Linh SmookeJul 7, 2021, 3:07 PM

Her music should live on but it’s very fucked up that she prob doesn’t own the right to it or at the very least doesn’t gain direct money from it. Very much reminds me of the recent NAACP case where college athletes finally got the fair share they deserve in merchandising.
Gotta love capitalism….not :nauseated_face:

Akasha RoseJul 8, 2021, 12:23 AM

Her court-appointed lawyers have stepped down. This is a positive change, as she can now select her own lawyers to represent her. https://twitter.com/Variety/status/1412551777837150212

Akasha RoseJul 8, 2021, 12:28 AM

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in future decades. Will she sue her family for the abuse? Will she take action against the courts for enforcing her enslavement? Will she recover the royalties paid to her trustees from the companies that made exploitative deals whilst being aware that she wasn't acting of her own volition? They were complicit and should have taken action to ensure that their commercial decisions didn't exploit her. I expect that once she is free to speak publicly again, the world is going to hear a lot more about this, and she will evolve into a strong voice for personal freedom and women's rights - a legacy that might outshine her contribution to the pop industry during her youth. I hope she still has it in her to contribute creatively under her own steam to the future of music too if she wants to.

Either way, she deserves freedom, and living with knowing what has been done to her with the full complicity of the court system, the music industry, and the media, is something that must be very hard to bear. It must be like living in an unbreakable, impenetrable cage where everyone she ever trusted failed her.

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