Opinion: Britney deserves freedom regardless of "how hard she's worked"
Britney is entitled to autonomy, not because she's a star, but because she's a human.
Over the past few days, the world has followed the latest updates to the Britney Spears' conservatorship with intense interest.
Last week, the singer delivered a powerful testimony in court, during which she shared extremely worrying details regarding the legal arrangement.
"I've told the whole world I'm OK, it's a lie," Britney said. "I truly believe that this conservatorship is abusive. My request is to end the conservatorship without being evaluated like before."
Earlier this week, a judge denied a previous request from Britney to have her father removed from his role as conservator. The case around the legal arrangement generally remains ongoing.
Britney's court testimony has sent shock-waves through her community of fans, and rightfully so. However, in conversations regarding the case, her lengthy working history often comes up among the reasons she deserves to live freely.
In an interview on Andy Cohen Live, for instance, Paris Hilton said: "After just working your whole life and working so hard, she's this icon and I feel like she has no control of her life whatsoever and I just don't think that's fair."
Elsewhere on Twitter, one fan writes that Britney's "worked so hard she deserves to live how she wants". Another writes that Britney "deserves happiness and a good life" because "God knows, she's worked so hard for it".
The thing is, Britney deserves to live life on her own terms, not because she's carved out an impressive career, but because she is an adult human being.
The allegations laid out in Britney's testimony are extremely concerning. They paint a picture of a woman who has been deprived of her bodily autonomy. In her statement, Britney alleges that she is unable to go to the doctor to get her IUD removed. She mentions being put on lithium against her will. In documents obtained by the New York Times, Britney talks about being forced to perform while ill.
This is oppression no one should have to endure, regardless of how hard a person works. Our right to live free from control should be guaranteed, and not something that is earned through labour.
This is not to say that her history of work should be overlooked, but that it should be examined within the context of the conservatorship at large. Britney's claim that she was unable to work on her own terms, or access her finances is an important element of the wider oppression she has endured.
While the case is still ongoing, it serves as a necessary reminder that autonomy is a human right, and not something that is earned through hard work.