Although futebol is considered Brazil’s most popular sport and the country has been long regarded as the ‘nation of futebol’, these labels have tended to refer solely to the men’s game. Over the years, women playing futebol in Brazil have not only represented a threat to Brazilian masculinity, but have also been perceived as disgracefully encroaching on one of the nation’s main sources of pride and collective identity. Because of this legacy, female futebol players have faced continued scrutiny, where their femininity and sexual orientation are regularly called into question. Although the prejudices around women’s futebol in Brazil appear to be fading and female players seldom face the same disapproval they once did, they are now confronted with a new version of cultural constraint in the form of socialized femininity.
© Adrienne Grunwald Photography