It’s been an unjust week for women around the world, with news of Bill Crosby’s sexual assault conviction being overturned and Britney Spears losing the legal fight to remove her father from her conservatorship.
As reported by the BBC on 1 July, a US judge has denied the pop star’s request to end Jamie Spears’ control of her estate. It comes a week after she made an emotional 23-minute testimony, detailing how her life has been controlled by the conservatorship to the point of being told she is “not able to get married or have a baby”.
Spears added: “I can’t sleep, I’m depressed, I cry every day.”
So, what now?
Although today’s ruling is a blow to the Free Britney movement, it’s important to note that it is not a response to the testimony. As per the BBC report, the judge cannot make a ruling based on Spears’ statement “until she files a formal petition to terminate the arrangement”.
The documents filed for this specific ruling only refer to the original request that Spears made last November. She had asked for the Bessemer Trust, a private wealth management firm, to be appointed as her “sole conservator”. Although the judge refused to remove Spears’ dad from his position, he did agree to the Bessemer Trust’s role as co-conservator of the multi-million dollar estate.
Alongside this, Jamie Spears’ lawyers have now asked the court to investigate the star’s claims of abuse.
This all means that the fight is not over yet. But right now, people are asserting the parallels between Cosby being granted his freedom while Spears has been denied hers.
“Britney isn’t free, Cosby is… feels so icky,” tweeted comedian and actor Sindhu Vee.
“Women are having their autonomy denied everywhere and it makes me sick. #FreeBritney,” added director and podcaster Kelechi Okafor.
“I know its not as simple as this, but Bill is out, and Britney stays in? Heartbreaking,” said Derry Girls actor Siobhán McSweeney.
And leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Mandu Reid, wrote: “Britney is being abused and exploited by the people around her who feel greedily entitled to her fantastic wealth. This court decision is enabling that to continue and sets a dangerous and damaging precedent – legitimising the erosion of female autonomy.”
We now just need to wait and see if Spears will file the formal petition.