In America, many people are living a life where they are sadly abused by their significant other. Many who are afraid to leave, which could be for many reasons like they do not know where they could go, they do not know if they could find someone else who could and love and provide for them, or maybe they are just simply scared of getting themselves or their family hurt.
“Enough” is a movie about a woman and her child escaping an abusive relationship. In this movie Slim (Jennifer Lopez) goes through many hardships trying to escape this abusive man. She goes through great lengths asking his and her family member to help. When she realizes that is not enough because he kept finding her, she decides to learn self defense; which will keep her safe from the law if he happens to die on her account. She also sends her daughter away to safety so she cannot be hurt during this fight for their freedom. The movie ends with her changing her name and hair color then once again being found. But, this time she knows how to fight and defend herself. She takes away all his weapons and phone lines of communication. In the end she ends up killing him. She does not end up going to jail or being punished for it because they said it was simply an incident of self defense.
I would like to compare this movie to the gallery we visited “I am unbeatable”, a gallery put together by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts team. This gallery was put together to help “raise awareness, educate, and prevent domestic violence against woman and children through real stories of real people” (website). During this gallery tour, we learned the story about a woman and her two children that have been battling domestic violence for many years. Her and her two boys have been mentally and physically abused until one day she decided to get away. During the time they were trying to rebuild their lives together after escaping, they still received threats from the father. So Sarah (the mother) had their names changed and their hair dyed and had them learning self defense through a group of male bikers who fought to combat domestic violence. With this, they learn how to defend themselves, how to use a gun, but most importantly how to become a man. We learned during the tour that many boys who grew up in a household of domestic violence tend to grow up and adapt the same negative actions that were portrayed by the father. The children of Sarah claimed that if their mother had not fought to get them away they too probably would have lived that same lifestyle.
Lucky, this story of domestic violence is being heard. This woman decided to escape while not having to have any (as I know of) physical confrontations with her abuser. In the movie enough the fight scenes were something that many woman have to go through, but they cannot go to the police because most of the time it is not seen as self defense and tend to end up in jail (another picture from the gallery). They said statistics show that many women do not get away with protecting themselves so they decide to stay with their abuser because “the pain may be worth more than going through the struggle”.
Another aspect of this class that I would like to connect this movie to is what we learned about masculinity and power. We learned many of these aspects through Kristen Barber’s “Sex is Power” article, where she spoke about how in a relationship men expect the female role to be submissive and them to be dominant. If this role is broken then everything loving in the relationship may change, because the male no longer feels in charge which is challenging his masculinity.
After learning about masculinity in men, I start to believe that this problem with domestic violence is a problem because the social constructions of what a male should look and act like and what a female should look and act like. So when that construction is broken or changed that is where the problem lies. Do you think that if the social order of earlier societies were constructed differently that woman could be in charge? Or the feminine side could be seen as the more powerful side?
I think would like to think that the movie “Enough” challenged this social construction; although she was initially a victom of domestic violence in the end she proved that the woman could out smart and out fight the male and come out more powerful.
This movie and gallery are very motivational to me. They show that although it may be hard it is always worth the fight to try and make a better living for you and your family. I respect the fact that they are bringing the issue to the eyes of the public. Statistics are showing that 10-35% of the people in the United States alone are battling a type of abuse. So the fact that people and movies are beginning to talk about it is a sign that the awareness is raising and that it IS possible to escape. We learned that many police officers coming into the field now a days are more knowledgeable on the subject so many people will be willing to go to them and express their issues and actually be believed and no longer dismissed. Domestic violence is a serious issue, what are you going to do to help raise awareness and combat it?