Tools of the Patriarchy: The Weaponization of Hair

From abortion to weight loss, the patriarchal tradition of policing women’s bodies is a strong and long lasting one. Telling women what they must or must not do with their hair—whether that be the color, texture, quantity or location of it—is just another way women’s agency over their own bodies is controlled.

Tools of the Patriarchy: The Naming Tool

“Tools of the Patriarchy” is a biweekly column on the tools that establish men’s dominance in society, or, in other words, uphold the patriarchy. Whether or not these tools are used intentionally, they contribute to a world in which women are not equal to men.

The naming tool is a long-standing tradition dictating that after marriage, a woman should give up her birth name and take on her husband’s last name. Children also frequently take their father’s last name, carrying the tradition on into the next generation.