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Why Do We Label Women As Well Cultured or Shameless?

Culture can be a beautiful thing. It is something that shapes what you believe and moulds the core of who you are; it can give you a vital sense of belonging. However, as a woman of colour, as a black woman, in many ways culture can seem to be something that ostracises you. This may especially be the case if your views, beliefs and actions are seen as “unorthodox” in comparison to the culture that you grew up in and know.

As a Nigerian woman, there are many aspects of my culture that I don’t particularly agree with or uphold. On the flip side, there are aspects of my culture that I embrace and adore. So walking this tight rope of throwing away aspects of my culture and accepting parts has made me begin to think about how we celebrate people, women in particular, for conforming to cultural practices and shame some women for refusing to adhere to all or at least certain cultural practices. 

I define culture as the beliefs, traditions, values, and customs of a particular race, ethnicity or geographical location. I’m not excluding the significance of more tangible things such as food and music from this definition, but having said that, every culture is different in this respect which means that what well-cultured means would vary from culture to culture.