Some following the #FreeBritney campaign are shocked that Spears’s family was able to maintain a conservatorship over the performer for 13 years under which the star says she was abused, exploited, medicated and controlled. But such legal arrangements have been imposed on women artists before. They reflect biased assumptions about women’s abilities to manage their lives and their professional activities.
The common perception of sex trafficking involves a young, passive woman captured by an aggressive trafficker. But this is not how sex trafficking usually occurs. Furthemore, frontline workers inconsistently define and apply the label “trafficking victim” – especially when it comes to sex trafficking. That makes it harder for these professionals to get trafficked people the help they request.
At the end of the 19th century, when it was founded, the modern Olympic movement deliberately excluded women. Games patriarch Baron Pierre de Coubertin argued an Olympiad with women would be "impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic and improper." With the postponed 2020 Tokyo Games due to start next Friday, what advances can we celebrate? And what still needs to change?