The football is a passion that shakes the heart of everyone watching a game. The sport was originated in England, in 1863, and came to Brazil in 1894. It´s a cultural phenomenon in our country. The world remembers Brazil at the football field because most of the biggest soccer players in history were born here, such as Pelé, Neymar, Cafú and many others.
The ball at the Brazilian foot throws big names out of the country. A lot of European’s teams seek for players born in Brazil. One of these names chosen to play in Europe is Gabriel Jesus, a boy from Jardim Peri, a neighborhood at the suburbs of São Paulo. Today he plays at England’s Manchester City and it’s one of its main players.
With all this speech, some images came to my head, and probably to yours too. It’s 2020 and we still have male players and male fans as majority when it comes to football. At this point, the problem begins.
The first match with women was in 1909, – for the record, 46 years after the origination of football- but they played with man. The first match with only female soccer players was in 1913 and for a benevolent event.
It is not necessary to say how much sexist football was. And how much sexist it is, even nowadays. If you’re a woman who likes the sport, or if you just pay attention to the signs, you probably heard a lot of comments about the delicate body of a woman and that it couldn’t be part of game like football. Or someone saying things like “What kind of woman is that playing with so many men? Is she even a women?” And many other comments filled with prejudice. And it is these paradigms that have to be broken as quickly as possible so women can be recognized within the sport and stop being subjected to these prejudices and stereotypes.
- Women in the field
Sabrina Bastos (18) was a soccer player who played in São Paulo, one of the greatest teams in the state and the country. In an interview for Her Campus she told how football changed her life and how it was important to her.
“Football for me has always been love. I forgot all of my problems at the field and the fact that I have a place where I feel in peace is the most important thing”, Sabrina said.
She always loved football, and this shows that not every girl needs to be a ballerina, some of them needs to be with a ball by her side all the time. Sabrina started to play with 7 years old and won a Paulista Championship in 2018 playing for São Paulo FC. Stories like that show that a girl’s place is where she wants to be and she can get far.
But being a woman playing football is a daily difficulty. Many clubs close due to lack of sponsorship, as sponsors do not look at women's teams the same way they do with male’s teams. Some even say that its women’s fault once their football is not attractive.
But the point is: When there is not the same attention distributed, there isn’t any right to judge. The biggest problem is, in fact, the lack of investment.
Prejudice is present. There is not a player who has never been through some hard situations or heard something said by a man about her way of playing. Many drop their careers out of pressure and fear, thinking that it will never go ahead and that it won’t bring any future.
“Women's football is being recognized more, the Women's World Cup was broadcasted, but there is still a long way to go. Equality on the pitch, and respect mainly”, Sabrina stated.
Another recurring discussion is about the salary issue “Boys play and girls play too, so there's no reason why we should receive less. It is not because we are girls that we are weak, it is all game study”, she said.
- Women in the crowd
Women are also present in the crowd and in weight. But some sexist behaviors are still very common in organized ones. On several occasions, fans are silenced or excluded from discussions.
What is an impediment? Do you really like football? Can you scale your whole team? And it goes on… Phrases like these are common among girls who like sports, as if the fact they are women invalidate all their knowledge.
Laura Ruiz (15) has been interested in football since childhood and has always been a fan. Since she was three years old, she went to the games and follows the news.
"Football means a lot. It unites many people and every fan agrees that when you enter the stadium, you forget everything", she said.
But like any girl who likes football, she has been a victim of prejudice. "People have already sent me a message saying that I did not understand anything. My friend and I once recorded a video of us at the stadium and a rival fan reacted, saying that we did not know anything. Apart from the harassment, we suffered", Laura declared.
And comments like this are extremely common, many do not understand that liking football is universal and not only for boys.
But we can say that today, with the advancement of society and with a lot of effort, women are finally taking their place in football.
As Laura said, "Today we see many women inside the stadiums, we are changing the view that football is only for men. I think that a large part of the male fans are starting to see this too", concludes.
The hope is that this will grow more and more into the society, and that women will be able to belong more and more to this wonderful universe that football is.
The article above was edited by Laura Enchioglo.
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