Yesterday, while Britney Spears' request to remove her father as her conservator was denied, Bill Cosby was released from prison.
While the two instances aren't related, they reinforce the ideology of how much the patriarchy is still a thriving societal machine.
Cosby was released from prison after his r*pe conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In 2018, he was found guilty of drugging and raping Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004.
Cosby walked out of prison on Wednesday afternoon, 2 years into what was supposed to be a sentence of 3 - ten years. Hours earlier, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had tossed out the conviction.
The problem with the criminal case, the court found, was that a previous Montgomery County district attorney had announced a decade earlier that Cosby wouldn't be facing prosecution.
Back in 2005, when Montgomery County's district attorney Bruce Castor first learned of Andrea Constand's allegations against Cosby, Castor wasn't convinced that his office could prove the case in court. This was because Constand had waited a year before she filed her complaint with law enforcement. Consequently, there was no forensic evidence, and Castor believed Constand's recollections would be less precise.
Castor told Cosby's team and, importantly, stated in a February 2005 press release that he would not bring criminal charges related to Constand's allegation. He testified that his intent was to still help Constand get justice and by taking a criminal prosecution off the table, Castor believed that Cosby would be limited from invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in Constand's civil lawsuit.
Although Constand's case was the only criminal trial against Cosby, there were sixty women who came forward with accusations that span decades.
So, what does this have to do with Britney Spears?
Well, hours after Cosby's release, Britney Spears' request to remove her father, Jamie Spears as her conservator was denied by a judge in Los Angeles.
This came after the pop star gave a powerful statement to the court where she asked for her "abusive" conservatorship to end. Her statement included how she was under complete financial ownership to her father Jamie and how she had not been allowed to remove her IUD or get married.
People took to Twitter to criticize how a convicted sex offender can walk away as a free man, while a thirty-nine-year-old woman is trapped in her home, forbidden by law to participate in her own life.
Actress and activist Jameela Jamil wrote on Twitter "Cosby being free and Britney not being free today is a wild world to be in."
Cosby being free and Britney not being free today is a wild world to be in. 💔 pic.twitter.com/LO2nFuJvQS
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) July 1, 2021
Another Twitter user wrote: "Big day for women to learn for the 596298239938th time that the state will support men who violate our bodies in anyway they find fit I see."
"Cosby walks free on the day Britney's freedom is denied. Patriarchy is thriving out here," wrote another.
Fortunately, the fight is not over for Spears as the most recent verdict was a response to legal documents lodged by her lawyer in November of last year. Judge Brenda Penny is yet to consider her most recent testimony, however this first blow will have been disheartening.
People are saying that while the two cases are completely separate, they once again portray the same story we have heard numerous times. That however bravely and loudly a woman professes her traumatic experiences, the legal system will not believe them, hear them or protect them. Misogyny is nothing new, obviously, but the legal system, not just in America but the whole world, continues to lean towards the protection of men.
Hours after Cosby's release, Montgomery County's current district attorney said in a statement that this should not deter victims of sexual assault from seeking justice.