Why Is Brittney Spears’s conservatorship a disability rights issue?
I don’t think I need to go over the nitty gritty of Brittney Spears’s conservatorship, there are plenty of details online.
Here is what I want to focus on. One, Brittney Spears had an apparent mental breakdown, she was postpartum, a close aunt passed away and she was dealing with a divorce. We don’t know what Brittney Spears’s diagnosis was, which we assume she was given for this conservatorship to last 13 years. But plenty of celebrities have had public breakdowns and have done stupider stuff than shave their heads and try to break a paparazzi window.
Do we remember Robert Downey JR in the 1990s and early 2000s? He didn’t lose his civil rights when he wasn’t in jail. Spears was never charged with a crime. Brittney Spears was going through some stuff. She needed compassion, therapy, and maybe medication. She didn’t need her father to take control of her money and her ability to sign contracts.
This isn’t just about Brittney. Conservatorships or guardianships are necessary legal tools for certain families or individuals. Older individuals with Alzheimers, individuals with specific mental disabilities. People who need someone else to make discussions for them. But here is the problem. Where is the oversight? What is the line? There was no assessment of Brittney before being placed in a conservatorship. Her father just checked some boxes.
It is. very easy to put someone in conservatorship in some states and all of the bills are paid for by the conservative. It’s very easy for people in conservatorships to be used for their money, and Brittney, who is still popular and able to work, is being used for her fame and ability to create revenue. Most people in conservatorships do not make active incomes (as in, they don’t go to work).
It’s sad that Brittney has an uphill battle, but with the world’s eyes set upon this issue, hopefully, the judge will take a full look at what is going on. Hopefully, things will be moving in her direction. But the truth of the matter is, it is hard to get out of a conservatorship once you are in it. It’s harder to prove yourself capable than it is to be proven incapable. It needs to be harder to put people into conservatorships. Oversite needs to be strict and laws need to change. Let’s get on this issue and move forward.