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Black Brazilian Women Fed Up With Tourists Revering Them as Prοstitutes

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Black Women in Brazil are tired of World Cup tourists wanting to sleep with them. www.naturallymoi.com

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Reported by April V. Taylor

There are many aspects of the 2014 World Cup that have not yielded positive experiences for citizens of the host country Brazil.  One that has been overlooked is the experience of Brazil’s women.  NewsOne recently reported on American journalist Vincent Bevins’ coverage of the atmosphere and the stereotypes held by many of the 600,000 foreign visitors who have poured into Brazil over the course of the World Cup.  Bevins states, “Unfortunately, an old stereotype is still present in the minds of some international gringos and many seem to have come here with the wrong idea.”

Bevins also reported on the experiences of Sao Paulo student and journalist Vivian Zeni who reports that she has been the target of what she feels is abuse from foreigners who believe that black Brazilian women are all prοstitutes.  She states, “They say all types of things as we walk down the street, some of them are very aggressive, using bad words and sëxual connotations.”  Similarly, journalist Aline Valek states that she experiences things like that, and not just during the world cup.  Valek says, “Foreigners who purchase this image of Brazilian women and come to our country believing that we are here to serve them (including many of them coming to feed a network of sëxual exploitation that often victimizes children and adolescents in situations of social vulnerability) are certainly part of the problem as much as the Brazilians, who consciously or unconsciously reinforce this machismo, and undress us in not only clothing, but humanity.”

For Zeni, she believes that this hypersëxualization of Brazilian women comes from the images celebrated during Brazil’s world-renowned Carnival celebration.  The fact that prοstitution is legal in Brazil also contributes to the stereotype that all black Brazilian women are overtly sëxual.  Native Brazilian Rebeca Abdala Teague agrees stating, “…in a country where prοstitution is legal, what did you expect?  I…read several articles on the Internet and newspapers saying that prοstitutes are learning English in order to communicate with the gringos.  Not to mention that I have stayed in a hotel in Rio de Janeiro that had a manual of types of Brazilian women and how to get them to bed.”

These factors have created a climate where, according to a 2013 study, 99 percent of Brazilian women report having been harassed on the street and 90 percent report dressing more modestly in an attempt to avoid such harassment.  The study also found that 8 out of every 10 women had avoided going to a specific location for fear of being assaulted.  It is time that the world’s view of Brazilian women catch up to reality, and as Valek puts it, recognize that, “The Brazilian woman exists, but not to satisfy you.”

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