As you watch the movie, there is no way to not fall in love with Enola Holmes. This is not a typical Sherlock Holmes story where the story is stuck to finding clues and solving a mystery. The main character represents much more than just being a detective; instead, it’s a woman’s story. To be precise, it’s about a girl becoming an independent woman and a detective. It is a simple, fun, and decent story that gives food for thought on how we are all connected to feminism directly or indirectly.

The time Enola’s life turns around

The story shows a bold, adventurous Enola Holmes, who finds herself at a crossroads and hopes to persuade her brothers to help her. Once she learns her brother, Mycroft Holmes, plans on sending her away to a finishing school, she starts her own detective work. This independent nature was considered wild by her brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. Her initial mission was finding her mother, which later changes to help a boy she met on the way, Viscount Tewkesbury. Her ability to respond to situations spontaneously wasn’t inborn. Also, her mother’s influence and training, the scenes shown in bits and pieces, made her ready to achieve more in life.

Facing the reality

A finishing school is a place for women to learn to be proper wives. Not being a wife in that era wasn’t a choice, yet Enola managed to create her own choice. By definition, feminism is a “system of ideas that examines the roots and reasons for women’s subordination in relation to male/masculine privilege.” The first time a girl comes across “subordination” in her life, there is no way she can immediately put the feeling into words. It is a time-taking process, and there is not a possibility of a discussion every time. Also, arguments are useless when everyone seems to be against us. Enola Holmes faces a similar situation for the first time in her life. More or less, the male privilege was stopping her from getting the freedom and help she deserves.

The story is set in the 1800s, where the pressure on a 16-year-old girl who doesn’t have her mother to look after her anymore is intense. The way she is proud of being herself despite others looking at her with “is she crazy?” look is amazing. How she breaks the traditional norms by getting into the adult world with the clues from her mother is simply fascinating.

Eudoria shaping Enola’s life: being a mother

Eudoria (Enola Holmes’s mother) doesn’t appear on the screen much but plays a very crucial role in the story. Mothers are known to play a huge role in shaping the next generation. It was no different in Enola’s story. One main reason why Enola got to be herself is because of her mother. Her focus was on guiding Enola to shape skills which will allow her to survive in the world on her own.

Eudoria herself a feminist, but she didn’t force her daughter into feminism. Instead, she gave her a choice, the freedom to live her own life. Enola got to choose whether or not to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Enola gets to know her mother’s secrets in an attempt to meet her mother. Portraying Eudoria as a dangerous woman involving some explosives seemed a bit out of line, and it wasn’t clear why it was that way. It isn’t totally wise to put feminists and explosives in one scenario without detailed information. The existing contradicting points on feminism is already unbelievable.

However, Eudoria is proud of her daughter in the end. Enola managed to bring a political change. This was rather impressive because, on one the side, Eudoria was planing all kinds of dangerous things. On the other side, the kid (Enola) only wanted to make things right. Both were into righteousness in their own ways. Enola Holmes once again proved than you don’t necessarily need to do complex or dangerous tasks to be a feminist. You can still be yourself and support what you believe in. Nobody has to leave their current job or study to become a feminist; you can support the right cause with time, patience, and effort.

Embrace the unexpected

Many fans were outraged because they expected adventurous and complex details on clues and mystery. This kind of twist in the story is a fantastic idea that can make you rethink your thoughts. By following a young woman, who didn’t see the world away from books she read until she turned 16, the story concept turns out to be an obvious and fantastic one. Agreeably, it could have been better with a few scenes, especially with the dialogues. Yet, there is no denying that the main character and the overall story dominated the few poor missing details. It was engaging and kept the viewer’s focus.

The simplicity of the story can be much appreciated once you consider the other aspects which were included. Enola Holmes believes in individuality, yet believes in protecting the weaker ones. She diverts her detective work from finding her mother to finding a kid, Viscount Tewkesbury, who was in danger. She believed in her strong self. If that’s not equality, the first thing feminism stands for. Then I don’t know what is. The first step to women fighting against the world, against the traditional norms, is by believing in yourself despite the world saying otherwise.

Inspiration for both men and women

Enola Holmes is a true inspiration for all the young ones who have doubts about whether or not the world needs feminism in the 21st century. The story set in another time when women weren’t allowed to vote is still applicable now. We get to vote, get nearing equal pay, have better equal rights, and also have successful women as an inspiration to many. None of this means there is no need for feminism. It doesn’t mean feminism is moot and should be ignored. Despite modern thoughts and habits, the problem lies deep within ourselves. We are still quite far from that future of equality, where feminism is no longer a necessary discussion.

Patriarchy isn’t a concern only for women but also for men. Notice how Mycroft was worried about Enola only as a guide or as a responsibility, but never was precisely against her wishes. For Mycroft, it wasn’t her boldness that bothered him. It was just about his own duties. I think this is why Enola never particularly disliked her brothers. Even after Sherlock Holmes visited her in the finishing school but didn’t help when she was stuck there, by the end of the movie she only loves her brothers. Likewise, Sherlock also accepts the intelligence of Enola by planing to take her in as his assistant. This ending was good progress considering his resistance at the start to help his sister in finding her mother.

Go beyond your existing thoughts

The difficulty or confusion is something men face, too, especially with women of equal capability. Men feel the pressure of being the stronger one, especially when it comes to accepting the quality of a strong woman. Most of the time, it’s some kind of deeply rooted consciousness linked with gender—something everyone faces either due to upbringing or the social norms. Just imagine the great Sherlock’s shock when he himself wonders why he didn’t think of helping his sister right from the start. The extraordinary smart person and the detail-oriented person was surprised to find Enola Holmes solve a mystery before he did. If that’s the case for him, then isn’t it normal for common people to get along with social norms. Does the mighty Sherlock also need lessons on feminism?

Doesn’t this strenghten feminists’ points on any issue? There must be something wrong because there must be some kind of suffering or observation of suffering for one to speak with such intensity. It isn’t a lie that there are a few people who take the tag “Feminist” and misuse it to their advantage. It does happen, but it doesn’t mean the real ones who are true supporters shouldn’t be undermined too. In reality, it is much different than in the movie; however, this can be a basic guide to those who feel feminism is overrated.

How many Enola Holmes sequels can we expect on Netflix?

My connection with Enola Homes

Personally, I am sick of people acting weird when I say I write for a women’s website. When I say I am a feminist, their eyes go wide, like, “Oh my god, but you sound so sweet!” It is really funny how people think I cannot support my own people because I am a soft-spoken person. A feminist doesn’t necessarily have to be an angry woman who hates all men. Despite many people stressing the point, somehow, the original concept of fighting for equality is forgotten. In recent times, with me not being able to write on any topic, it was this movie that gave me inspiration.

Did you look at the feminine Enola Holmes all dressed up as a respectable woman? Yet, she was fierce while fighting. She showed empathy towards Tewksbury and still managed to go to a large, respected place all by herself to find him. She had feelings for a boy, like many other girls her age. Yet she managed to be an independent detective rejecting the offer to stay with him. I myself am girly, and can never be rude, yet find myself trying to help those in need, or showing my support. Am I not eligible to be a true feminist? If not today, won’t I have an opportunity later on to make a difference in this world? Of course, I do.

This is the case with others, too, other women who are into changing the world, yet are introverts or feminine. These things don’t matter once you are sure of what you want to do. There is no point in holding a person back because of these menial things. It also applies to those who let these things get to your head. Be proud of who you are wherever you are. Enola Holmes didn’t back away, and neither should we.

Read also:
Why We Need Feminism Now More Than Ever
Unpacking The Story Of Pride And Prejudice
Making Politics Accessible – An Interview With Julia Belle