Free Britney!

I’m ashamed of my profession

Michael Greiner

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Britney Spears slaving away. Wikipedia.

Last night, my wife and I sat down to watch the Britney Spears documentary produced by The New York Times called “Framing Britney Spears.” I must admit that I expected to see some light entertainment, enjoying the escapism that our celebrity culture often provides us.

What I did not expect was my actual reaction: embarrassment and outrage. After all, in this era of economic inequality and democracy in jeopardy, can the plight of a rich, beautiful, young star be all that salient?

In fact, it is. I was so upset after watching the documentary that I had trouble falling asleep.

I’m not surprised that Justin Timberlake, after watching the documentary, felt obliged to apologize to Spears. His behavior in the wake of their break-up, as detailed in the program, was atrocious. He embraced the privilege that our misogynistic culture grants young men like him. It was Britney’s “fault,” to quote Diane Sawyer, that this young couple’s relationship ended, breaking poor Justin’s heart.

It would be too easy for me to simply cast aspersions at Timberlake, though. I was horrified to realize as I watched the filmmakers document Spears’s history, that I had bought into the sexist narrative surrounding her career. She seemed to have gone crazy when she partied with Paris Hilton and Lindsey…

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Michael Greiner

Mike is an Assistant Professor of Management for Legal and Ethical Studies at Oakland U. Mike combines his scholarship with practical experience in politics.