women guitarists, female body and guitar, guitar in Brazilian literature, representation, image, culture


This article examines the relationship between women and the guitar in the context of both Brazilian literary discourse and the instrument’s culture and history. To this end, I have sought out texts that illustrate intersections between women and the guitar from the perspective of both female and male authorship. We see that the guitar provides a vehicle for the woman’s voice in all its restlessness, violation, and libertarian desire; but equally, it enables the perpetuation of stereotypes linked to the mirroring of the guitar and the female body. In the absence of literary and historic records of the guitar in female hands, a discourse prevails that reinforces masculine imagery and ignores the role of women guitarists throughout the instrument’s history.


This article was first published in Portuguese as “A Fuga da Donzela: Relações entre Mulheres, Violão e Discurso na Cultura Brasileira,” Revista Vórtex (Curitiba) 8, no. 3 (2020). The translation is by Diogo Alvarez.



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