“Moana,” Men and Masculinity

Disney’s Moana

By “Bob”

Moana is out on video so I bought it for my niece and nephew. As we watched it I was surprised at the truths it told about men and masculinity.

In the story (spoiler alert), Princess Moana’s island began to die because the island goddess, Te Fiti, lost her heart in a struggle with the demi-god Maui, who stole it to enhance his power.

Moana learned that for the island to live, the goddess must regain her heart, so she set out to return it. On her journey she met Maui — who was sometimes friend and sometimes foe.

Maui, Moana and “me over you” vs partnership values

Maui reflects both the good and ill of masculine behavior.

He’s not a bad guy, but he carries an ego that can get in the way of his better intentions and the path of true good — like when he stole the goddess’ heart to become more powerful. We’ve all heard about the male ego and the male fight for power, right?

Maui holds the protypical “hierarchal’ mindset that puts him above others. He felt superior to Moana — not because of his gender but because he’s a demi-god after all, and she’s a mere mortal.

His superior attitude and desire to enhance his power reflects those domination values.

On the flip side, Moana reflects “partnership” values. She wants the best for her people, not just what’s best for herself. Despite Maui’s brash attitude, she works with him and finds ways to be diplomatic in her approach. She is strong and independent, but never feels superior to Maui, or like she wouldn’t need him.

Against Maui’s machismo Moana is more in touch with her whole self — both her “feminine” and “masculine” sides.

Moana to Maui: You are more than your weapon

In his quest, Maui used a magic weapon that was almost entirely destroyed by a lava demon. It seemed to symbolize his conquests, success and power — in fact, his worth. Maybe his fears and struggles were symbolically papered over by that weapon. Without it he felt defeated and lost. How could he be the great Maui?

Even a demi-god has insecurities.

But in a heart to heart Moana told him that he is more than that weapon. And there’s more to his worth than being powerful in that way. She saw him for who he truly is and not the facade of bravado he put on. She told him that he could help people, which was her task.

She was saying, “Yes you have insecurities and weaknesses and you can be vulnerable.” While he saw that as bad, she showed him his heart, deep down inside, stripped away from the material and the ego.

It’s not the talent someone has, or abilities that make them wonderful, it’s their love, personality, heart, character, and compassion that holds true worth.

That conversation parallels real life. In my experience guys don’t talk about their problems because we are so often ego-driven and feel like we can’t be vulnerable or dependent.

But she got him to express his tender, feminine side, which helped him to heal. With her partnership mindset, Moana counseled and consoled Maui.

And he helped her too. In the beginning Moana didn’t believe in herself. But he showed her how to steer the boat, which built her confidence. And over time his assertiveness and confidence rubbed off on her.

Their relationship — learning from each other — shows how men and women can support each other and help each other heal and become whole.

“Power over” versus “power with”

Then there’s the difference between how Maui and Moana sought to solve the problem — Maui thru brute strength and Moana thru her heart.

Maui sought to battle and overpower the lava demon, and wasn’t effective.

But Moana realized that the creature had lost its heart and saw that returning it would bring redemption.

So much symbolism here. First I think it symbolizes how, unfortunately, men’s aggressive mindset suppresses our tender side. Men often have rage at the forefront, when deep inside we are actually sad or hurting, but blinded by rage.

The answer is not to combat with rage, but to be in touch with our compassion.

Women are often better at this, it seems. Maybe it’s because women are encouraged to be more nurturing. So Moana discovered that the lava demon had lost it’s heart and reached out with compassion to heal it.

The creature was actually the goddess who was angered by what was taken from her.

It makes me think of how most women I know personally have much better communication skills than men. Maybe it’s because of our culture, but in a confrontation women seem more likely to either use reverse psychology or talk it out. It’s listening: “I know why you’re upset, you have every reason to be, but this is why I’m helping you…” It disarms an angry person and works better than confrontation.

Moana disarmed the angry lava creature because she showed she cared. That’s all the creature needed to be complete again — for someone to see it’s pain and show they cared.

And then the tender inside, once covered up by anger, can heal.

Behind it all Maui has a good heart. He just needed to peel back his insecurities and let go of the bravado he put forth to boost his ego. In the end he grows more empathetic and caring.

Maybe there’s a lessen in there for us men.

“Bob” made this comment on a post, which I edited.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on May 1, 2017, in men, psychology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 57 Comments.

  1. I have only seen the movie Moana once and pretty much only remember the basic plot, but I distinctly remember the size difference between the men and women in the village. The men, especially Moana’s father and Maui, are much larger than the women. It seems to me the size difference is overemphasized, as well as the masculine characteristics. Of course it is an animated movie and most physical characteristics are exaggerated, but that tend to give the impression that masculine characteristics are based on size and not culture? Or in certain cultures, are those with bigger physical size taught to be more aggressive and have a bigger ego? I recall from my days playing soccer that the girls who were much bigger were more aggressive and were not afraid to let their opinions known. It seems to me that our culture may expect and encourage those with larger stature to express those more traditionally masculine traits.

  2. After reading this post, I see “Moana” in a different way and value the movie much more. “Moana” was known for its diversity as well as the message it sends. The movie sheds light on the differences between how men and women problem-solve as well as the qualities that make them do so. Moana represents women and their nurturing side which allows them to see situations differently. Often women are more nurturing and analytical. However, Maui represents the stereotypical man who is driven by their image and strength. Maui represents men who approach situations with a power-driven mindset. Of course, these are both stereotypes of men and women, but they are meant to resemble how majority of the time women and men make decisions. The movie shows the benefit of both genders collaborating in order to make a difference. Moana and Maui’s collaboration allowed them to make a difference as well as gain skills that would benefit them in the future. This movie emphasizes the importance of collaboration and it is great that it is targeted towards a young audience because it teaches kids at a young age the importance of having a variety of skills (even if they are considered to be “more feminine” or “more masculine”).

  3. I watched this movie more than eight times not because its a great movie but because i have siblings who love Moana and Maui. In this movie Maui appears to be Masculine , selfless and etc. He felt like he had to prove himself to show others how big he is and powerful he was. In this movie there is also a girl named Moana who is independent, strong , and caring. Moana goes on a journey to find find the heart of the island and save her people. On the way she finds Maui who stole the heart of the island. She forces him to go on the journey to help out even if he was resisting. On this journey she changes the man from being selfish , she shows him that he can use what he has to help others and prove him self in a good way.

  4. And then I saw this sorry, but if you watch this you’ll be happy you did :). I’m just a bunch of inspiration today ha. This makes me think of our discussion about helping others vs ego and you’ve said it’s more meaningful in the end helping others. And I know that, but I like many have this internal fight with ego and success and such. Though being a person strong on empathy, helping others has always been strong with me. Either way, it makes you think how much better our country and world would be and people stopped their battles and divides and followed the ways of this man.

    Yeah most can’t do all the stuff he was doing, I don’t know how he did the bucket list, but as you’ll see. Ironically the thrill seeking and all these things he did, which he did because he found he had to change his ways as he didn’t have a purpose before and wasn’t happy. But after all these, it was no.26 and the easiest that gave him the most joy out of all the bucket list things he’s done. Like in this post fighting against vs fighing for or about beyond oneself and about others, partnership. The clip put a big smile on my face and I think it will for you too. It’s only 7 minutes too so not long. The clip is right on the link I have here on ESPN.


  5. “Twas a wonderful post.

    And I finally saw the film on Memorial Day. I got so much more out of it because of your post.”

    Thanks. So did you see the things I was talking about when watching the movie? Or notice how Maui acted in the fashion I was talking about, which hierachal related and moana partnership? But his ego was actually fragile but guarded how men can be with their vulnerable side and Moana brought it out. He just had to peel back his machsimo to see there’s more to him and others and be less selfish and more selfless,

    • Yes I did! You had a lot of great insights here. 🙂

      • As a sports fan, the cool thing is sports can connect social obstacles and bring them up or connect the two as you saw with the last two clips that you thought were inspiring. I really like the ESPN E: 60 or Sports center feature. This one is really quick and I thought you’d like this, though you probably already know the woman. I didn’t but quite a woman. I like how sports can highlight a person that had a big social impact, but sports was their vehicle in doing so. So many female pioneers, but there are many probably not well known or compared too others. And if you already know who this woman is you already know, but nonetheless, I’d say quite the female pioneer. The clip is only 6 minutes. I thought you’d like this. I just saw it on ESPN today and found it on youtube to show.

      • Oh yeah! She is soooo cool! Love this.

  6. I think the movie also resembles how men tend to solve problems, they don’t ask for help because they don’t feel they need it or want it. However Moana is key in helping Maui get his weapon back and beat the angry lava creature. Perhaps not asking for help is part being in a patriarchy where men think they are better than woman.

      • As a man, part of the reason I wrote this was because I could relate to something about maui as a man myself. Not the cocky, braggy part of him that was rooted from insecurity, but being a proud person and him wanting to clash against his problems. Men don’t to ask for help because it means the man can’t solve it or do something well. If you feel highly of yourself and it’s something you’re normally good at, it’s hard to accept that. Some of that and some men might be hard to give in in part of them feeling they are better than men. But as a man I can tell you it can have nothing to do with that also. Patriarchy can have the effect on wanting to be the best and that mentality but it might not be about men thinking they’re better than women. I think many guys don’t discriminate, they may want to be better than or think they are better than everyone ha. When my ego is ramped up it’s not about women or I don’t see it that way. I don’t see sex with competition but individual people’s talents and abilities.

      • ‘Twas a wonderful post.

        And I finally saw the film on Memorial Day. I got so much more out of it because of your post.

  7. Janell Teixeira

    Moana is one of my favorite Disney movies, partly because of the story line, partly because she is the first Polynesian “princess”. I loved that she was an independent girl and didn’t rely on a man for much of anything. She set a goal, set out to accomplish it on her own and was willing to do what it took to accomplish it, without letting anyone stop her. I grew up watching Disney movies, and in most the girl needs rescuing or relies on a man to save her or help her with a task, so it’s very nice and inspiring to see Disney make movies that show that girls don’t need men to always save them or help them, that they are strong and capable of being independent and accomplishing things on their own.
    While watching Moana, I never really thought about Maui’s behavior in the ways people have described it on here. I did see his behavior as selfish at times, but didn’t really think about it in more depth. After reading this post, I totally see how his behavior is similar to how men in real life deal and behave with things. They turn away from emotion, and try to look and be as strong and powerful as they can. They like to be superior to others, mainly women, and tend to put themselves before others. Maui’s actions show all these thing now that I think back to the movie. But I also agree that Moana helped Maui to become more in touch with his compassionate side and his emotions, which helped him become stronger and a better person, as others have said. Moana was already strong and independent and was still trying to find out who she really was, and Maui was just concerned with his ego, which is typical of men. I think seeing how Moana carried herself helped Maui to see that ego isn’t everything and that there is more that matters than ego.
    In real life situations this also applies. Men always try to be as powerful as they can so that they look good in other people’s eyes, and don’t really care about the kind of person they are. Women, however, aren’t given the same opportunities as men, so they tend to focus more on themselves and the kind of person they are, rather than their ego or how powerful they are. Men and women bring different things to the table, so I think they should work together more and be seen as each other’s equal, because men and women bring different things out in each other, which can be very beneficial in certain situations.

  8. Moana is one of my favorite Disney movies. I can honestly say that I have watched this movie over 20 times and I never really took into consideration the problem Maui faces with his masculinity. After reading this blog post, I begin to think back on how mcuh Maui seems as if he has to “prove” that he is a true hero and that he is a strong man. At times in the movie he becomes a bit vulnerable towards Moana while he shares some things about his past. Men always think that they have to be the strong ones and never show any true emotions. For me, I think what makes men more manly is when they show their emotions. When they aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with someone.

  9. I was actually able to watch Moana last night. Though I was slightly distracted by the fun songs and vivid colors used in the animation I too was able to pick up on the different gender roles. One of which I found interesting was the view of the grandmother from the village people. People thought she was crazy because she danced alone on the beach to imitate the ocean. Is it so unimaginable to think a women can be on her own without a man? Another gender role I noticed was the gender of the lava demon. My first thought was that it was a male, being that it was large, angry, and aggressive. Then finding out later that it was the goddess that had lost her heart turning her into a monster made me think. Are women only their emotions? If we have no heart, no softness are we viewed as monsters? Must we all be so soft and caring all of the time?

  10. Great analysis from a totally different perspective. Thanks to Bob…

  11. So moving, you see the end when the boys express themselves. And I think how many boys who are in gangs right now that were just like these boys and that way deep inside, but never had support, or allowed to feel they can show that other side and express hurt instead of bottling it in in the macho way and just compounded. These boys could have went the wrong path and have to give it to the coach to being a mentor for them and a father figure helping these boys who have had such heartache at such young age and were lost and didn’t feel loved.

  12. I think about violence and troubles from young males especially from inner cities. And it’s nice when to see some are “saved”. . But i think, metaphorically, how many of these young boys are “lava demons” just needing someone to show they care or to get thru their blind rage and hurting inside, to heal?

  13. First I think it symbolizes how, unfortunately, men’s aggressive mindset suppresses our tender side. Men often have rage at the forefront, when deep inside we are actually sad or hurting, but blinded by rage.

    The answer is not to combat with rage, but to be in touch with our compassion.”

    That’s all the creature needed to be complete again — for someone to see it’s pain and show they cared.

    And then the tender inside, once covered up by anger, can heal.”

    I just saw something that connected me back to here and wanted to highlight those words above since it’s about men. I don’t know if you follow sports but sometimes I see good human interest stories and like sports like music can have a way of connecting and bonding people, plus coaches who can be important mentors, especially to troubled young males. Here’s a clip I saw, but I thought you’d find it interesting, it’s only 14 minutes, just check the first 5 minutes and I think it’ll pull you to the rest of it. But a touching story and nice when we have men and maybe more men helping young boys and being the mentors young males never had from broken homes in inner cities.

    • Wow! That’s really inspiring. Thanks for sending it along. Hmmmm, maybe more to write about.

      • I like the E;60 coverage shows. Some are better than other, but it connects athletes and sports to real life social issues and adversities. You know, the human interest element. Since I brought up the “Mauis” from the last clips. You should check on time that you have some of these shows, they are pretty inspirational or moving. They’ll either inspire you, maybe make some ‘woke” or pull at your heartstrings.

        This clip pulls are the heartstrings for sure, but was moving. I see this girl as basically “moana” strong, assertive, but with a big heart but dealt with a huge loss. It’s about the horrible orlando shooting last year, and this connection to a girl on a women’s professional football team, who was always an athlete and made her way through and her team and it’s diversity from the women’s league as the teammate or her said. The women became like family, diverse but love. On the team lesbian women, straight women, black, mixed, hispanic, white, but all close and even the coaches and the connection that came from this. It was sad in general because the shootings are obviously but it touches in depth on this particular girl and her teammates and emotion to it all. I mean you knew it was going to be sad with the music intro. The song has a relation if the clip is watched and see the ending as far as “sunshine” goes and obvious why song was chosen for clip.

      • Wow, that’s really touching and inspiring. Thank you!

  14. I hadn’t read all of this into the movie either. Nice thinking, Bob.

  15. Araceli Toscano-Hernandez

    When I first heard Moana was coming out, I was intrigued because it would be one of the first movies to have a heroine that wouldn’t be looking for love. (Elena of Avalor is also a film without a love interest). This news came out before the trailer even aired so naturally I was very curious to see how the traditional princess story would change. However, it was nothing how I imagined Moana would be like. There was in fact a love interest, a love for her people. Regardless of having to defy her father, she went into the sea to find a solution for her people and instead found herself.

    What I found interesting was that many called this a feminist film and at the time that I watched it, I didn’t really think it was. This was of course before I took any women studies class and knew what feminism truly was. I now see that the partnership between Moana and Maui was key to bringing about peace to her Island. Without one or the other having mutual respect for one another and putting their feminine and masculine traits together, they wouldn’t have been successful on their quest.

    What I love so much about the movie was how they portrayed Moana, with feminine traits and Maui, with masculine traits. Even though Moana used her heart, empathy, and communication, it gave her a sense of STRENGTH. Most of these qualities are brushed off and seen as weaknesses by men and women alike. However, the beauty of all of this is that the movie didn’t change Moana into something she was not, to portray her as a strong female. Moreover, they used what are known as common feminine traits and gave it a wonderful connotation to it, of strength and even intellectual strategy.

    They did not take away from Moana and give her “masculine” traits to show her as a leader, but gave power and importance to her feminine traits and empowered women who share these same characteristics. They also did not put Maui down to show Moana’s strength. They gave him importance as well. Both characters were valued with their characteristics as female and male, and that my friends IS FEMINISM.

  16. Brandon Choy

    Wow! You bring up some great points and analysis in this post. When I had initially watched the movie upon release, I was expecting a more traditional “fight against the bad guys” plot line and character development. However, as you have brought up in this post, there are so many different messages within the plot and the character’s personalities. The slow growing companionship between Maui and Moana really illustrate the flaws and strengths of human connection and beautifully portrays how it can bloom into happiness and fulfillment. After reading your post, I learned a lot about the more intricate details of their relationship and its’ applicability to gender roles and uncovering hidden insecurities.

  17. Now in the theaters, ‘Moana’ is the most controversial movie to become a box-office hit in recent years. I didn’t realize it was so controversial when I was watching this movie in theater. After I took a women study lecture, I can understand. In this movie, there are discriminations: racism, and religion discrimination. Feminists condemn Disney films for being sexist so Disney said that, “Moana is an independent woman.” However, I could not find that she is an independent woman in this movie. Previously, most of the stars of Disney films were white. Previous Character was handsome and beautiful.

    • Well I don’t know that it’s controversial. But it’s created a lot of conversation.

    • Those were the old disney movies. This one Moana is very independent. She was the only woman or person of her tribe daring enough to cross the sea, even against her father’s wishes and it was all to save her people even if she harms her life in the process. Very brave and independent to me. It might be controversial, because it’s more feminist edge to it, which can cause controversy for people who feel insecure when women are set up in a strong point of view. There were past discriminations and racism from disney movies, “think Jungle Book” the original cartoon movie. But if anything it’s the opposite. If it was, they wouldn’t have used a movie of samoan/polynesian people who are not white and also put them in a strong light too

  18. Stacey kenner

    So right now this is one of my favorite movies so I have seen it a few times, and when I was watching it I had a different perspective on Maui and his behavior.
    -So to start Maui stole the heart of Ta Fiti so he could give the power to create life to the humans, he wants people to love him because when he was born his parents “took one look at him” and threw him to the ocean, cause they didn’t love him. So he spent all his time giving humans gifts so they might love him. What he is mostly insecure about is that he is desperate to be loved which is not what I consider a typical macho behavior.
    -Also when Moana first shows him the heart he backs away and tries to get away from it acting scared, and when the Kakamora (coconut tribe) capture the chicken who just ate the heart, Maui wants to leave it and sail away. This is not an example of a macho behavior.
    -the last example about how Maui is not a macho character is when he is fighting Te Ka he sacrifices his fish hook (which is where his self worth comes from) to save Moana. Self sacrifice is not a macho behavior.

    Now to Moana.
    -Moana is a confident and independent person who is stubborn and the only reason she went to find Maui was because that’s what legend told her she needed to do. She is a manipulative person tricking Maui into helping her by telling him it’s how to get humans to love him.
    – Maui teaches Moana how to Wayfind because he owes her for helping him get his hook back from Tamatoa (the shiny crab) by making Moana be bait. So she doesn’t need him to teach her but it was just helpful that he did.
    – Moana goes and faces Te Ka and she goes alone cause Maui’s hook is broken, and he happens to go and help her but she planned on facing off Te Ka by herself, showing she doesn’t need Maui but the story could of ended much differently due to him helping her.
    – Moana also talks about her role in the island as the person who has to hold the hands of her people getting a tattoo and teaching the young kids to dance. This seems almost like a more nurturing and domestic life, she wants more than that role she wants to lead her people on adventures while voyaging.

    I think the only thing macho about Maui is his body, and Moana is very much a confident, strong, independent person who is a natural leader but who had difficulty with the role she is expected to play in her life on the island.

    • Your perspective makes a lot of sense. But what about this: “when Moana first shows him the heart he backs away and tries to get away from it acting scared” don’t you think that guys are often afraid of emotion? And Moana being manipulative is typical behavior of people without power, which is where women have historically (as opposed to pre-historically) usually been.

    • -So to start Maui stole the heart of Ta Fiti so he could give the power to create life to the humans, he wants people to love him because when he was born his parents “took one look at him” and threw him to the ocean, cause they didn’t love him. So he spent all his time giving humans gifts so they might love him. What he is mostly insecure about is that he is desperate to be loved which is not what I consider a typical macho behavior.

      There are multiple things I believe with what he did and why it is actually male behavior. Yes he wanted to be loved, but when stuff like that happens. Early on a man can go on an ego quest because it’s to protect them. You can see it with powerful men who unlike Maui are just corrupt because this ego has over took them, because of their insecurity which this stuff could have caused them. I’m glad you brought this up. I think this is male behavior because this can be the underlying aspect of why guys are like this, but because of guys “don’t cry” because of macho behvarior or express themselves in a different way. They only know to fight, compete, or stroke their egos or be in a rage. I also believe he also did these too for love but also to “stroke his ego and be praised and worshipped which is a masculine aspect to behavior. Remember when he was showing off his tatoos of all his “accomplishments?”

      Also when Moana first shows him the heart he backs away and tries to get away from it acting scared, and when the Kakamora (coconut tribe) capture the chicken who just ate the heart, Maui wants to leave it and sail away. This is not an example of a macho behavior.
      -the last example about how Maui is not a macho character is when he is fighting Te Ka he sacrifices his fish hook (which is where his self worth comes from) to save Moana. Self sacrifice is not a macho behavior.

      That’s very masculine actually because some of the men who have the most bravado are actually like that when in front of something they don’t want to deal with. Those coconut tribe could actually represent troubles or past troubles for maui just like for men, bad pasts can bring bad feelings for men which we don’t want to confront, because of the feel of being helpless. So like I and men can relate to the unsettling feeling of being or feeling helpless and rather “walking away from our problems instead of handling them head on which women might do so as in “talking about their problems” Because I think women are taught to be more nurturing and express thingselve with problems and maybe because women aren’t seen as leaders like men. It’s easier for women to be “powerless or helpless” when life hits you hard and there’s nothing you can do to fix a problem or the past but just take it and deal with it. That’s hard for men and I, as confronting a troubling past can bring that surge of anger and frustration that men compartmentalize and just shut off and keep inside.

      He didn’t sacrifice his hook until the end when Moana finally got to him that he has more worth than his hook, which he finally got it and had the confidence to realize helping her and others was more important than his ego which his ego and accomplishments and power which it reperesented. Up to that point want to stop the quest or even when they came across lava demon as the end he decided to fight the demon which is masculine instead of handling it the way she did which happened once she realized there wasn’t an island and the actual island was the lava demon.

  19. Marie-Claire Mendonca

    What did you think about Tamatoa and the song “Shiny”? (For those of you who haven’t seen Moana, spoiler alert!) When I first saw the movie, I felt like his song was a filler, and I didn’t pay much attention to it. But it’d be interesting to think about his role when talking about masculinity in the movie Moana. On one hand, Tamatoa values his appearance, which might be considered to be a stereotypically feminine attribute. On the other hand, it’s evident that he values his material possessions because they make him feel superior.

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote this song, said, “We really wanted to write the ‘anti-lesson’ of the movie—if Moana’s journey is finding out what that voice inside her says and who she is, Tamatoa comes in and goes, ‘Doesn’t matter! Who cares! It’s about how you look!’ … Your armor is important, the glitter that attracts prey is important. So who cares who you are on the inside? You gotta be shiny, homie!”

    Tamatoa values his trophies before anything else. One might say he not only uses them as a way to express his domination over the fish in the sea (as a literal predator who eats them), but also as way to express his domination over Maui. Although Maui’s hook isn’t very shiny, Tamatoa takes it as a trophy, and he and Maui compete over it. Throughout that scene, Maui and Tamatoa battle things out hand-to-hand, and when Maui gets cocky, he ends up putting himself in danger. This parallels how men compete physically to assert their masculinity, and how that type of competition has real consequences. Moana, meanwhile, is trapped and seemingly helpless in a physical sense, but she uses her quick wit to distract Tamatoa, and she and Maui rush to safety. She uses her social skills to trick Tamatoa, and de-escalates the battle that could’ve killed Maui. I think this connects with what you said about women’s social skills, and how they are more effective to resolving arguments than confrontation. What do you think?

    • I’ll be interested to see what Bob thinks about this. But I think you make a good point.

    • Yeah he was very egotistcial like Mauia too. He cared about his appearance the giant sea Crab, but I think the stereotypical behavior, was still masculine in the metaphorical aspect. The Crab, I believe as in appearance and shiny things was a sign of “status” and wealth to him. It’s the materiealistic show off like, that rich hot shot male who brags or shows off his 3 expensive, flashy cars. I think in the instance of maui, I think his ego got caught up with him with how they both wanted the staff because of their fight with each other’s egos. But I also believe Maui also used his ego argument at the end there to help moana talk it out or get the crab distracted so she could escpape. She saved him initially when the crab was going to kill him, but then he distracted the crab with their ego fight and then she got the crab to talk about himself with her social skills which maui got the staff and they escaped But there were a lot of things like you said though. I paid less attention to him, because he was in a very small role and the actor’s singing was bad for the popular cover “shiny” ha.

  20. I actually haven’t seen it yet because I’m saving up for Memorial weekend, but I’ve already read the plot because I wrote a post on it. 😉”

    I’m sure you’ll probably or maybe keep a mental note maybe of this when seeing the movie and seeing the parts that I explained when you watch the movie. I’m sure you;ll the parts that I’m talking about from my post when you watch the movie and, it will really help with you seeing it visually with the actions and said, therefore putting my post to life.

  21. When I was watching this movie I couldn’t help but see Maui as the typical male figure in a patriarchal type mindset. On the other hand I felt that Moana represented a true feminist who fully understands not only herself but also the people around her. I agree with everything in this post and thought it was a really good movie. Eventhough Moana was subject to Maui’s superiority complex she never fell victim to it because she is strong and independent. She understood Maui and his insecurities and instead of finding too much offense from his behavior, she understands that he is also just a victim himself. I think that this movie shows through Maui how limiting a dominance type mind set can be and how it can leave men blind. On the other hand it shows the power of compassion and understanding and how it fosters growth through knowledge

  22. Jean Claunde

    Since you are posting about films, this a great documentary about equality directed by a feminist, Cassie Jaye.
    It’s a must-watch film.


  23. Vanessa Murillo

    I was very taken aback but also very glad that this Disney movie was the first to have a Polynesian princess and instead of having a prince save her has the power to do it herself. Maui does resemble a lot of the characteristics that men struggle with in masculinity in our present society. I think it is great that children are being made aware of these problems and can hopefully see the problem and grow up to defeat these stereotypes and problems.

    • I hope so too.
      Thanks to Bob for getting into all the inns and outs as this movie portrays the issue.

      • If you want to get technical about the meaning of “saving”, I’d say that not only did maui not save Moana, but she actualled “Saved” him. She didn’t do it physically as in fighting off some villain, but she did it emotionally. He had insecurities and issues that she helped him work out and in the end it not only made him a more complete person, but a more confident, stronger, caring person and more confident. So she actually saved him. I think it’s a lesson too, in that in our society from the male view, it’s always seen that a problem is fixed or solved or someone is rescued or saved by handling with force or battling some “evil doer”. But just as many times or more so the saving needed or just as powerful is the “internal” saving, that women do and can help many times. That therapeutic saving, that can be overlooked, but just as important that women can do many times

      • Interesting. Thanks for adding that.

  24. Thanks Bob. You have a lot of great insights on masculinity in this movie that I totally missed!

    • Welcome. Ah so you did see the movie. Glad I didn’t spoil it for you, as I wasn’t sure.

      • I actually haven’t seen it yet because I’m saving up for Memorial weekend, but I’ve already read the plot because I wrote a post on it. 😉

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