Today, it was announced that Britney Spears would remain under the conservatorship of her father, Jamie.

This comes after Spears attempted to free herself from her father in court. A judge turned down a bid to stop her father from returning as her conservator, ignoring Britney's requests to make her interim conservator, Jodi Montgomery, permanent.

Spears also requested that a corporate fiduciary, the Bessemer Trust, be put in charge of her fortune instead of her father. "My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father. She will not perform as long as her father is in charge of her career," said Britney's lawyer Samuel D. Ingham III. At the hearing, attorneys for Spears and her mother Lynne urged her father to step down.

But Jamie Spears' attorney was able to successfully defend his role, claiming that there is not "a shred of evidence" that could support his suspension. Spears did achieve one small win in court: The Bessemer Trust has been appointed as co-conservator, and the judge also didn't rule out the possibility that Jamie might someday be removed from his role.


Not the first conservatorship drama

In September 2019, after more than 10 years under the conservatorship of her father, Jamie, Britney Spears was appointed a new conservator.

This came after widespread controversy following a difficult August for the Spears family. Over the summer, Jamie fell ill—and was put under a restraining order after he apparently attacked his 13-year-old grandson, Sean Federline. Jamie underwent a criminal investigation and was banned from seeing his grandsons for the next two years. Following these events Britney was appointed a new interim conservator, named Jodi Montgomery.

An experienced fiduciary worker, Montgomery had already been working with Britney in the context of a different role—her care manager. Previously, Montgomery was responsible for communicating with Spears' healthcare professionals. She has since been in charge of hiring security and caretakers for Spears, as well as managing restraining orders and health records.

What is a conservatorship?

A typical conservatorship is defined as a legal scenario where a "guardian or a protector is appointed by a judge to manage the financial affairs and/or daily life of another due to physical or mental limitations, or old age." In Britney's case, she was appointed a conservator after her public breakdown in 2007.

The specific details of the conservatorship have not been made public, but we do know that conservators control the financial and personal decisions of the conservatee. However, conservators are not allowed to force drugs or mental health residencies on anyone.

Why does Britney Spears need a conservatorship?

In addition to being one of the biggest stars of the 21st century, Britney has struggled with mental health issues for years. According to TMZ, Britney requires a conservatorship because of health issues that "prevent her from making sound decisions." Spears has a "disorder affecting her personality that can affect her state of mind," the article reports. "We're told she is doing 'extremely well' but needs the safety net of a conservatorship."

There is no clear consensus on what mental health issues Britney has, but we do know that she is on a cocktail of medications designed particularly for her. A change in these medications may have resulted in her April 2019 hospitalization, which sparked a new firestorm of speculation about Britney's autonomy and well-being.

What is the #FreeBritney movement?

The #FreeBritney movement began in 2017, when a podcast called Britney's Gram began investigating suspicious incidents around Britney's social media presence, speculating that Britney was somehow being held against her will. Apparently, they received a call from an anonymous source who said, "You guys are onto something."

The movement really took off after Spears canceled her Las Vegas residency in January 2019, and soon after, her father was appointed sole conservator. Then she checked herself into a mental health facility due to the stress from her father's illness. The podcasters continued to speculate, and the hashtag #FreeBritney took off.

Britney eventually slammed rumors that she was being held there against her will. She posted a video on Instagram with the caption, "My situation is unique but I promise I'm doing what is best at this moment." She also asked that fans respect her privacy as she "[deals] with all the hard things life is throwing [her] way."

Since then, the hashtag and movement itself have faced criticism from people who have defended Britney's personal life and privacy, as well as those who have lambasted #FreeBritney as a mental healthcare-shaming movement.

It's important to remember that there's nothing wrong with needing long-term healthcare or with allowing others to take charge and advise us. For someone like Britney, who was thrown into the public eye at a young age and who has faced endless harassment and traumatic experiences with her family, it's totally understandable that she might require assistance. Though our highly individualistic culture may tell us otherwise, there's nothing wrong with getting help, and having professional assistance is not a sign of weakness.

Fans call BS

Though it's very possible that Britney needs a conservatorship, Britney's consistent efforts to free herself from her father's clutches reveal that something is definitely afoot. Even if Britney needs a conservatorship, she shouldn't be forced to remain under her father's control; she should be granted the dignity of a professional caretaker or service at the very least.

Protest on, #FreeBritney martyrs. It seems Chris Crocker was onto something all along.


Leave Britney Alone (Complete) www.youtube.com


MUSIC

Taylor Swift Finally Has Something to Say

With an awkward (albeit successful) transition from country to pop, the star struggled to grow and change with fans, but now Swift is rediscovering her voice

Wee see you, Taylor.

Image Source: Getty

After a decade of heart-wrenching, soul-shaking, and groundbreaking love songs and breakup anthems, Taylor Swift is finally singing about something bigger than herself.

Whether the criticism for being apolitical wore her down or she needed to rebrand to stay relevant by cultivating a newer, younger fan base, we're relieved. Swift's Reputation era left some fans disappointed. They expected her to tackle the media and her "reputation," but instead, Swift victimized herself and gave us nothing new or lasting. Her latest rollout is plastered with pastel rainbows, making some question if Swift is hinting at something about her sexuality, especially since her most recent single, "ME!," was a rumored coming out. With her new single, "You Need to Calm Down," Swift is finally beginning to break down her walls, calling out the negative nellies of the world and celebrating self-expression.

An anti-hate anthem isn't a new idea for Swift, but here she dedicates a whole verse to uplifting her LGBTQ+ fans. The notable verse smoothly articulates homophobia as a waste of energy: "Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD? / Sunshine on the street at the parade / But you would rather be in the dark ages / Makin' that sign must've taken all night." The sly spelling of GLAAD could go unnoticed, but her lyric "Shade never made anybody less gay" doesn't beat around the bush. She even celebrates gender expression, gutsily asking in the refrain, "Can you just not step on his gown?" "You Need to Calm down" is the adult "Mean": Swift uses the external instead of the personal to explore societal hate, effectively grounding her message in everyday examples.

For the first time in three albums, a Taylor Swift pre-album single is intriguing and insightful. While expectations were low after "ME!," "You Need to Calm Down" delivers a Swift we've never heard before: a grown woman speaking her mind. At last, she's hit her cool-girl stride, effortlessly blending vocals with spoken word components. With an awkward (albeit successful) transition from country to pop, the star struggled to grow and change with fans, but now Swift is rediscovering her voice. She's no longer the raw, thumping country-rock adolescent; she's an adult using her platform to speak out about greater issues. Hopefully, this Taylor sticks around.

At first, when Nickelback started taking a more proactive approach in responding to their critics—with the Funny or Die video, and the Twitter debate with the Braves relief pitcher—it seemed pretty cool of them, like they were self-aware enough to acknowledge that a large section of the population deemed them uncool, without actually being insecure about their popularity and their place in the rock hierarchy. But eventually, you have to just shrug your shoulders, say "haters gonna hate," take considerable consolation in your millions of fans and millions of dollars, and get on with your life, right?

Not yet for Nickelback. Instead, they appear to be taking the other approach, responding to their more virulent internet critics one at a time, in an extended Twitter deluge a couple days ago that proved the group to truly be a band of the people—even the people that wish they would die in a gasoline fire. Observe:

 

 

And so on. Well, at least they're not coming off as paranoid and blind with rage—yet—but their constant need to defend themselves against the haters, on Twitter or elsewhere, does have them coming off a little...well, defensive. Hopefully this Twitter run was just the result of the band having a couple of hours to kill and baiting The Internet to amuse themselves—otherwise, you'd be surprised how quickly "self-aware" turns into "insecure and kinda obsessed."

[Billboard]