Zoe Saldana’s husband took her last name — so what?

Posted at 7:24 AM, Jun 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-09 09:58:25-04

Actress Zoe Saldana says Marco Perego had some choice words for her when she tried to dissuade him from taking her last name when they secretly wed in 2013.

“I tried to talk him out of it,” she told InStyle magazine. “I told him, ‘If you use my name, you’re going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.’ But Marco looks up at me and says (in his Italian accent), ‘Ah, Zoe, I don’t give a s**t.’ ”

The new Mr. Saldana, a soccer player turned artist, and his wife welcomed twin boys this year.

Before her interview, at least one fan picked up on the name change.

Now, he’s being hailed as progressive and a feminist. Writing for Who What Wear, Meghan Blalock said it’s important because “To our recollection, this is the only instance we can recall of a female celebrity’s husband taking her last name.”

“And here’s why it matters: The storied history of women taking men’s last names in marriage is not just a trend or a matter of practicality — it’s a long-existing symptom of the patriarchal society in which we live, in which a marriage means that a woman is little more than a man’s property,” she writes. “(Though, admittedly, women taking men’s last names is not something internationally widespread; it’s more localized to Western culture.) ”

The revelation provided talk show host Wendy Williams with the opportunity to start a discussion about his decision.

Why don’t more men do so? It’s an issue that’s long been discussed.

In 2013, Jill Filipovic sparked buzz when she wrote a piece for The Guardian with the headline “Why should married women change their names? Let men change theirs.”

“Your name is your identity,” she wrote. “The term for you is what situates you in the world. The cultural assumption that women will change their names upon marriage — the assumption that we’ll even think about it, and be in a position where we make a “choice” of whether to keep our names or take our husbands’ — cannot be without consequence.”

And far from being emasculated, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star’s husband may be helping make the sign of “a man” out of what some see as controversial, as one Twitter user said.