“Enough” is the Columbia Picture’s motion picture, the storyline of which is based on the basic “fairy tale” about the maiden, who accidently meets her Prince Charming and they live happy together (Towers, 2012). However, her “prince” turns to become an abusive monster, who does not give her peace, even when she runs away from him and tries to start a new life (Enough script, 2012). The story, interpreted in the movie, proves that domestic violence in its broader sense of abuse can happen in these conditions when person’s wellbeing is not intimidated by the lack of money. Therefore, the movie breaks the myth that supports the wrong idea about domestic violence happening only in the urban areas and low-income families (McCue, 2008). Jenifer Lopez’s character emerges in the condition of fighting to stay alive and saving her child from being traumatized. It is known that when children witness violence against their mothers, they can experience such syndromes as anxiety, aggression, temperamental problems, depression, low self-esteem and lack of empathy (McCue, 2008). The woman feels helpless on the initial stage of abuse; however, her mother’s instinct helps her to cope with her apprehension feelings and maintain her self-esteem in order to protect her and her daughter’s life (Enough script, 2012). She actually kills her husband, but according to the prescription of the criminal justice system’s procedure, it is considered as a self-defense (Enough script, 2012).
The main purpose of the paper is to answer the following questions: a) what do the victims fight for? b) do the gender differences predetermine the outcomes of domestic violence? c) how the can storyline’s feedback be represented in the light of feminism?
Throughout the film, the woman plays the role of a victim of domestic violence who regains her perception of reality and no longer feels helpless in the face of repeated abuse (Enough script, 2012; McCue, 2008). Moreover, triggering of particular feelings helps her cope with her fear and see the way out of the situation.
Gender Matters in the Domestic Violence Issue
“Agency sample” which is used by the feminist gendered researchers cannot be applied for the movie’s concept, because the main character of the film did not inform the police about the physical abuse that she had experienced (Fernandez, 2010; Enough script, 2012). In psychological terms, the most common way of psychological defenses of domestic violence are denial and minimization, anger, nightmares, shock and dissociation (McCue, 2008). These psychological problems are considered devastating for women more than for men, who may experience the repeated abusive behavior, as well (Hester, 2009). According to the police’s statistics, men are significantly more likely to use physical violence, threats and harassment that tend to create the context of fear, which is based on the control over a victim (Hester, 2009). Moreover, reported incidents when women resorted to violent behavior mainly involved verbal abuse, some physical violence, and only small portion of threat and harassment (Hester, 2009).
A woman may develop a distorted perception of reality when she feels helpless in the face of repeated abuse (McCue, 2008). The main heroine of the movie initially felt helpless and did not seek for her father’s help, but informed her mother-in-law and did not find the needed support (Enough script, 2012). Women are more vulnerable in the conditions of violence, because they represent highly developed set of coping skills (McCue, 2008). Being emotional creatures, women have tendency to forgive and forget their abusers, because they are archaically considered being weak and helpless. Battered women use various defense mechanisms to cope with the results of domestic violence, such as splitting the mind from the body and development of “traumatic bond” (McCue, 2008). The latter is developed on the grounds of the power imbalance between the abuser and his victim, and predetermines the women’s total dependence on him (Fernandez, 2010). Thereby, if the battered woman’s self-esteem is extremely damaged, she may not see the solving alternatives to her abusive situation, and she would have difficulty removing herself from it (McCue, 2008).
Abovementioned theory could have happened practically in the movie’s storyline, if the main character had not forwarded angry feelings into the strategies to overcome her fears.
Gender Impact on the Outcome of the Movie
Gender is considered as a structure of oppression that is larger than the individuals who produce it (Sokoloff, 2005). The scholars could not adequately explain why women possess the physical strength, develop stamina and mental toughness, and drive to achieve their goals, if they are considered powerless a priori (Hamel & Nicholls, 2007). What is important to remember is that as long as women accept the notion of victimization, they will never experience the freedom that goes along with having control over their lives (Hamel & Nicholls, 2007). Therefore, in the movie, the woman had developed effective strategies of fighting abuse by recognizing possibilities of the negative outcomes of violence and she did her best to resist them (Enough script, 2012).
The women in the movie was motivated by her trainer to regain all her anger and strength to concentrate it on achieving physical and mental strengths in order to be prepared to fight her perpetrator (Enough script, 2012). Moreover, she was stimulated with the necessity to protect her daughter’s safety and feelings (Enough script, 2012). Throughout the ordeal, she had struggled to enclose her child from the bitter abusing experience she had encountered (Towers, 2012). The main character’s concentration and positive emotional support helped to demolish the problem of low self-esteem, which consequently allowed her to overcome her fears and defeat her abuser (Enough script, 2012).
Therefore, the outcome of the movie should not be considered different as if it were a man’s part instead of women, because the main character has executed just enough will-power and strength to overcome her sufferings. The only difference can be suggested on the grounds of men’s rage level that is considered far greater than women’s. The deviance will be based on the woman-man or man-woman fight. Physically weak woman can defeat a man when she is under alcohol or mentally ill, in times when her strengths’ boundaries could not be controlled (Cook, 2010). At the same time, men are stronger in general biological terms.
Storyline’s Feedback and Movie’s Feminist Line
Some points portrayed in the story do not match the informational background of the movie. The questions arise on the grounds why such a strong and resourceful character as a main leading woman had not made a report to police? (Enough script, 2012) Another important question is about her father’s prosperity that did not help her to solve her abusive problems, and she had nobody to turn to (Enough script, 2012). However, there is a scene in the movie when the abused woman applies for the mother’s-in-law compassion, but does not see positive results (Enough script, 2012). Another unsettled matter concerns the reasons why did her husband pick her as his victim, while he did not perceive financial and other selfish ends. Moreover, he had an adherent, who had helped him to research her background and simulate the conditions of their acquaintance.
Although the abused woman has helpless feelings aftermath the experienced abuse, she does not drag herself into suffering from dependency, push-pull syndrome and does not increase the negative syndromes of her child. She does not use dynamics of the mixed feelings to forgive her abuser and remorse over her decisions. Moreover, she does not use experienced fury of her husband on their daughter and tries to keep the same reflection of the girl’s father. However, these intentions and efforts turned out to be useless, when the abuser tried to set up a car accident, which could have involved their daughter’s injury. Nevertheless, his rage and fury did not reflect in the women’s actions at the time of ordeal and she maintained her self-control.
Another important aspect should consider the absence of sexual abuse in the storyline. However, different types of the notion of violence are mentioned in the movie’s content, such as perceived intentions to cause physical injury to another person, threats and execution of violent acts.
Jennifer Lopez’s heroine gains audience’s sympathy by the combination of compassion and approval feelings. Basically, the movie depicts the classical methodology of how domestic violence can be dealt with, if there is no other way to stop that abuse. However, it should not be misunderstood that every woman should kill her husband, as it happened in the storyline. The film’s plot gives practical hints to these abused women, who need to regain their self-esteem and lack positive support. The movie teaches women to stay strong and focus their energy on their learning of self-defense. Conception of a “woman” is given in the light of human being’s abilities, but not the traditional consideration of gender limitations. Therefore, the main personage’s story is not represented in the light of traditional feminist theory where woman can manage her life on her own without a man; because Jennifer Lopez’s heroine eventually went on to build the relationships with an old admirer.
The storyline of the film “Enough” covers contemporary issues of the dangerous outcomes of domestic violence. It supports the main idea of gender considerations in the light of socially-psychological disregard of the issue’s severity in psychology. The main focus of the movie is based on the necessity of self-control and self-esteem maintenance, in order to fight the abusive behavior. However, the final and crucial condition of killing is represented as a solution to the abusive problems. Nevertheless, this condition should not be misunderstood with the main concept of the movie, which is to encourage women to look for the possible solution to the problem and regain the control over their lives. Statistics shows that men significantly more likely than women use physical violence, threats and harassments. The same data bring the statements that women are more likely to use weapon in a self-defense as an option to stop the abusers from the further violence. However, the police reports’ data show that women experience the greater devastating effects of violent behavior rather than men. Moreover, psychological problems are not considered as causes of abuse, but represent the effects of the violence.
Not the least important fact considered the in film’s plot is that the main character prevents from further spreading of abusive behavior on her child and does not reflect her abuser’s violent dynamics on her daughter. However, Jennifer Lopez’s heroine realizes her negative emotions, such as anger and fury, in order to develop stamina and build the strengths of fighting back. Therefore, the movie’s concept is centered on the effective triggering of the necessary stimuli that help to stop the repeated violent acts. The main heroine’s motivation of protecting her and her child’s safety acted as a pushing-pull to develop the physical agility together with mental strengths. Jennifer Lopez’s personage eventually kills her gritty and reserved abuser, however, she is acknowledged innocent on the grounds of self-defense.