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  1. A Twitter post recently read “If I see one more post about how this would never happen to a man I’m going to fume! This happens to disabled people of both genders all the time!”. I took a moment to insert myself on this thread to add context: when reporters and journalists articulate that this would never happen to a man, they’re speaking specifically to young male celebrities, Britney’s peers, who at her age when she was placed into a conservatorship, would not have happened to them if they exuded the same erratic behaviour. I was met with backlash, people reasserting that this is a “disability rights issue” and that I need to know the context better. Now I’m fuming. I get it. Certain minority groups who’ve been exploited or taken advantage of for so long, it’s their moment to illuminate flaws in the system relevant to their circumstances. But in doing so, they seem to want to ignore the circumstances around Britney’s case with the intention of benefiting from her case by framing it through their own subjective lens. What worries me is convoluting issues to an extent that their re-framing or misrepresentation of this specific case and it’s specific unique circumstances is actually leading to those in the general public unfamiliar with the case assuming Britney is disabled. Britney is NOT disabled. I think we can all agree on that. And if not, we could agree that she is not *severely* disabled to a point which would justify a conservatorship which are typically used as a last resort option for the severely disabled and seniors. In this case, Britney had mental lapses which could have very well had to do with postpartum depression in combination with mental health deterioration as a result from the media harassing her to an unprecedented level not seen by any celebrity aside from Michael Jackson. What ensued was a conservatorship set in place which most of us could agree was set in motion by those who set to benefit from imposing such an arrangement on Britney under the guise of “care”. This is more a woman’s rights issue than it is a disability rights issue I would posit. We’ve seen journalists run with this angle. And I agree with it. We would never see young male celebrities stripped of their autonomy, agency and civil rights when they rebelled. It hasn’t happened. But what HAS happened historically, in so many cases, is the exploitation of women when they were defiant, non cooperative, or rebellious: their husbands and families could (and did) have them admitted to psychiatric care and at one horrific point in history women were a sizeable portion of patients whom received lobotomies at the request of their male handlers. Forced sterilization, removing their money; the list could go on and on. I appreciate that conservatorships have been used to exploit the disabled and seniors; but to frame this case as a disability rights issue and ignore relevant facts of the case which make it unique and unprecedented does more harm to the case than it does good. I resent certain groups trying to exploit and piggyback on this case as a means to further their agenda, which may be honourable, but they need to be careful in how they present this unique case to the general public. More than anything, this is a human rights and women’s rights issue. A woman was stripped of her autonomy, agency, and civil rights when she didn’t fall in line and placed into a fraudulent conservatorship. How’s that for context?
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