popular feminism part 6

One important association to make is the idea of popular feminism being brandable within the Free Britney movement. Banet-Weiser argues that when feminist ideas are branded then the branded item becomes the politics, and the politics are then absorbed into the economy. Take for instance a Free Britney t-shirt. When a person buys this t-shirt, the shirt becomes the end of the politics and the politics remain constrained within the visibility. The politics are wearing the t-shirt instead of efforts to actually Free Britney.[1] The documentary displays some of the merchandise that is available for Free Britney supporters: shirts, flags, tattoos, to name a few.[2] It is interesting to note that once again an entire economy of merchandise is being supported by the ideas consumers have around Spears.

            The documentary goes to great lengths to point to the suffering that individuals have caused Spears. Dianne Sawyer asking her invasive questions. Her family profiting off of her conservatorship. Paparazzi profiting off of invasively documenting private moments of her life. While it draws lines to individuals, I would argue that the issues that imprisoned Spears are systemic. Popular feminism, as seen in this case,  works to draw attention to and demand change from these individuals. I would argue that in addition to these measures we need to reexamine the value system embedded in cultural system that prioritizes exhorting women who do not abide by gender norms for capital gains.

[1] Banet-Weiser, Empowered, 23.

[2] Stark, Framing Britney Spears, 3:30.