#28

The inconvenient woman doesn’t do what she’s told. She’s willful, talks when she should stay silent and says what makes people uncomfortable. She’s intolerant of the make-believe world she’s put in and constantly pokes holes in the screen she’s projected on.

Driving to Blackfoot, Idaho with my husband and a few weeks ago, we thought we would pass the three-hour drive listening to Audm, an app containing the best newspaper articles written by the best writers and read by the best readers of the business.

We listened to the article from The New Yorker called “Britney Spears’s Conservatorship Nightmare,” written by Ronan Farrow and Jia Tolentino, July 3, 2021. The story went through Spears’s June 23 court hearing contesting her guardianship of the last thirteen years.

Britany Spears’s argument was that the rules of her conservatorship were unfair, dictating every aspect of her life, including placing an I.U.D. (Intrauterine Device—a plastic thing inserted into the uterus that looks like a two-pronged grappling hook used by old-timey mountain climbers that can only be placed or removed by an OBGYN doctor) as a form of birth control. The conservatorship claimed the I.U.D. was to ensure that Spears did not have any more children that she could not take care of.

To be clear, I was never a Spearhead, part of the Britney Spears fan base. I was an old married lady with kids when she burst onto the scene in her tiny Catholic school uniform and feather-puffed pigtails.

I have also never been big into Pop music, preferring Nine Inch Nails to Boyz II Men. However, I still didn’t have a problem with the new generation of blondes with deep voices entering the new millennium.

But because I was only an observer of the Pop Icon headlines, I thought that if everyone said Britney Spears was crazy, she probably was. A well-circulated photo of the girl, shaved head, wielding an umbrella at the paparazzi sealed my opinion of her.

It hadn’t occurred to me that the whole thing was propaganda towards imprisoning her for life—things like that didn’t happen in America, right? Right?

Perhaps because of my constant research into my Great-aunt, I drew parallels between Glenna and State Hospital South (a mental institution) and Britney Spears and her Conservatorship.

Both women were controlled by a conglomerate, telling them what to eat, where to live, what to wear, etc.—quickly and efficiently stripping their human rights away under an iron-clad law.

To add insult to injury, they were both made barren, unable to procreate—in the name of saving future progeny—and then silenced from anyone listening to what they had to say by inserting a label of “crazy” or “insane” on them so that anything that they might say would automatically be ignored. Bravo! It worked!

In Britney Spears’ case, to ensure that no outside opinion or observation could change or interfere, a whole company was employed to handle her social media. She would submit what she wanted to say or how she wanted to express herself on Twitter or TikTok, and they would tweak it before putting it out there.

So, it was strange that the last several TikTok videos showing a glassy-eyed Spears dancing slowly, seemingly vacant, and well, crazy, was allowed to show up on the social media platform, and right before she went to court, too.

The conservatorship was big into isolating her as well. Anyone close to Britney, friends, or relatives, even a housekeeper she turned to for companionship, was threatened, fired, and cut out of her life.  Britney couldn’t even have a cell phone. She was deemed too incompetent for all those extra stimuli. Yet, she was still performing, still raking in the big bucks—money she, herself, had little access to.

And when she decided to assert herself, telling the people holding her guardianship leash that she was done performing and making them money, they held her two boys for ransom.

Her father, Jamie, would threaten that she would not be allowed to spend her allotted visits with her sons anymore. She believed him. She would back down and perform, making millions of dollars once again, and she would do what she was told.

Her court appearance wasn’t much better. Her appeal was closed court, and all records were sealed, like her original diagnosis and (the regularly open to the public) 911 call she made claiming conservatorship abuse. Even her ability to get her own lawyer without the input of the conglomerate was denied, all in the name of protecting her!

What’s more, anything leaked seemed to have the slant of insanity to it. When talking to the judge, Britney was said to have been almost frantic, talking so fast that the judge had to tell her to slow down several times so that the court stenographer could correctly record what she was saying.

However, they couldn’t skew the fact that Britney had an I.U.D., one that she did not want. There was no way of twisting that little deed because that was an infringement of her reproductive rights, that was forced sterilization. Who would do that? That couldn’t happen, not nowadays, and not in America! Right? Right?

The court denied Britany Spears’s claim. She had to stay in her gilded cage. Done. Finished. Game over.

Before I drove to Blackfoot, Idaho, I sent in the required ten-page court motion to release medical records for my Great-aunt Glenna. I explained why I wanted the information, how the public would benefit from it, and the potential resulting harm to the public if the information was not released.

I could not say I want the medical record for my curiosity or for a book I was writing. I mean, it was, but not only that!

I wanted to find out what happened to my relative and see if the things she suffered from were the same things that other relatives and I suffer from now, like heart issues, blood circulation problems, depression, and so forth. It seemed to me like the test searching for the carriers of the Breast Cancer gene. Shouldn’t I know what’s coming for me in the future so I can take steps to stop it now? I guess not.

Without explanation, my request was denied—just a big black stamp with the word “Denied” and a judicial magistrate’s signature. Done. Finished. Game over.

But then, last week, Britney Spears was allowed to get her own lawyer and fight the rules of her imprisonment! And suddenly, I realized that she was a very inconvenient woman! That is precisely what I want to be!

The inconvenient woman doesn’t do what she’s told. She’s willful, talks when she should stay silent and says what makes people uncomfortable. She’s intolerant of the make-believe world she’s put in and constantly pokes holes in the screen she’s projected on. So, watch out, world! We’re coming!

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