Gonzaga event: ‘Is Moana about Rape?’

A Washington State Catholic university is set to host an event Thursday that will question whether the Disney movie Moana is “about rape.” 

Gonzaga University philosophy professor Danielle Layne will screen Moana to attendees and discuss it, according to the event flyer for, “Is Moana about Rape?” spotted by Campus Reform. The function will be sponsored by the school’s Women and Gender Studies and Native American Studies departments.

“Layne will advance a controversial thesis wherein she suggests the film is an extended rape metaphor,” the flyer, which was displayed on bulletin boards on campus and sent in the morning newsletter, reads. 

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The professor will argue that Western patriarchy and masculinity attack “the feminine,” indigenous cultures, and the environment and nature.

“Layne will ultimately also suggest that the film is Neocolonialist, i.e. it advances a new myth that scapegoats Maui, excusing Western culture from oppressing women, degrading the environment and erasing/murdering indigenous people,” the flyer says. The flyer concludes with a trigger warning for those who may be interested in attending the event, stating that the function will address racism, sexual assault, genocide, and colonialism.

Layne told Campus Reform that the event is part of a monthly “filmosophy” event on campus that analyzes various films. She said that the goal of these events is for professors to advance a thesis about a given film and then have a discussion about it with students who attend.

“This particular Filmosophy is a bit of research as I am currently writing a pop culture piece on the film and so I am excited to see how all students, those who agree and disagree, respond to analyzing the movie,” Layne told Campus Reform.

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“Why do we have to ruin a cute children’s movie that was obviously not made with the greater metaphor of rape?” Gonzaga College Republicans President, Olivia Johnston, asked while speaking with Campus Reform. “It seems as if this lecture is trying to find yet another way to blame the problems of the world on western civilization and the patriarchy.”

Campus Reform reached out to Gonzaga University but did not receive comment in time for publication. 

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