Zoe Saldana defends Marco taking her name & wants to ‘redefine masculinity’

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana cannot believe people are making a massive deal out of husband Marco Perego choosing to take her name. She dropped the tidbit in an interview, but she’s still shocked that people noticed or cared. Zoe thinks celebrity culture is “ignorant,” so maybe that’s why she’s aghast. I’m not taken aback by the response to Marco’s name change. Some men take their wives names although it’s the exception. I’m a lot more surprised that some people still think Marco’s a golddigger, so that must be why he dumped his name for a more famous one. Really? Maybe I’ve warmed to Marco too much.

Zoe took to Facebook to question why people reacted to Marco’s marital gesture:

Fathers, sons, brothers, men everywhere: Your legacy will not perish if you take your partner’s surname, or she keeps hers. I’ve been made aware that a comment I made regarding my marriage has garnered some attention. I felt proud that my husband decided to take my last name as his own. I shared my hesitation with him when he told me about his decision, not only did he say, “I don’t give a shhheeeetttt!!” (with a very strong Italian accent!!) he also asked me, “Why not? What are you so afraid of?” And it made me wonder … What am I so afraid of?

Why is it so surprising, shocking- eventful that a man would take his wife’s surname? Women have never been asked if its ok for them to give up their names — why doesn’t that make the news?

Men, you will not cease to exist by taking your partner’s surname. On the contrary — you’ll be remembered as a man who stood by change. I know our sons will respect and admire their father more because their father lead by example.

Gentlemen, I implore you to think outside the box- remove the box altogether. Let’s redefine masculinity. A real “man” leads along side his partner. A real man accepts his mortality. A real man acknowledges that nothing can be done alone.

I hope that the “buzz” behind this topic isn’t just for gossip — but an inspiration for us all to look within and see what is truly important. Let’s start by letting go of some of the limitations we have inherited from the past, and forge a new path moving forward.

Sorry for any mistypes LOL

[From Facebook]

At least Zoe didn’t accuse everyone of invading her privacy again. She knows exactly why Marco’s name change made the news. Because it’s not the norm, and because Zoe made a big deal out of it to the press. She brought the subject up. Zoe discussed her concern for Marco being “emasculated” by his fellow artists and the entire world. Ah well. Zoe just likes to lecture people. I think she means well with this mini-essay, but she sounds really judgy and preachy. Of course she had to throw in a little jab at the gossip realm too.

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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43 Responses to “Zoe Saldana defends Marco taking her name & wants to ‘redefine masculinity’”

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  1. Loulou says:

    Who’s making a big deal about it apart from them?

    • kufrt says:

      Exactly. No-one would have known because no-one would have cared to ask – and who wasn’t calling his Hipster Doucheness, “Mr. Zoe Saldana” anyway?!

    • GiGi says:

      Exactly. Some friends of ours who would be considered rednecks recently got married and he took her last name – even though he already had children with his original last name. No big deal & he’s super proud of it.

      The entire naming thing is just ridiculous anyway. I didn’t take my first husband’s name, but I did take my current husband’s. My sister was adamant about keeping hers. In some countries no one in a family has the same last name. It’s such a contrived thing to be weird about.

      Also – isn’t he Italian? Who are these “Latinos” he’ll be losing street cred with? My latin friends who are married keep their 2 last names from their parents & then their kids get a new set of two.

      • Original T.C. says:


        I was confused too about the “you’re going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.” Are Italians considered Latin now?

        And I thought it was normal in Latino culture for the Mom’s last name to be used?

    • Mila says:

      lol exactly. dropping it in an interview and talking about how brave he is and then acting like the whole world stopped rotating when in reality no one cared.

    • loud noises says:

      randoms on the internet. i have read various outlets being like OMG marco, and commenters as well. i’m kinda glad she called them out actually, and is like ummm guys get your head out of your asses.

    • FLORC says:

      This was known, but wasn’t something anyone cared about until it was brought up like it was something that needed to be discussed.

      It’s not the name. It’s (IMO) a combo of motives, context, and exclaiming something that didn’t need to be exclaimed.
      I don’t think he’s a gold digger, but he’s not without intent in his actions to help his career. There’s really no point in denying that.

    • Monn says:

      the people who were insulting her husband and saying he’s a pussy and gay (because idiots must be homophobes as well) on her facebook page, for example?

    • Sticks says:

      Exactly. You aren’t the first couple to do this but if you want the credit, Zoë, go ahead and take it.

  2. MelissaManifesto says:

    [If people are really making a big deal about this…] It’s a personal choice. We are all, of course, entitled to our opinions however some things are so personal we can only support them. What is to me if a man takes his wife’s name? I don’t see why people are freaking about it.

  3. inthekitchen says:

    As I understand it, they BOTH hyphenated their last names so they’d be the same (and the same as their children) so I don’t even get what the problem is! Even if he wanted to drop his last name and take hers, I still don’t see the big deal! Women do this every.single.day so is the message that women are less than men for doing this? Geez. Some men/women/whoever is up in arms need to get a grip and learn to worry about things in life that are actually important.

    • LAK says:

      Do you really not understand the history of women taking their husband’s name?

      It’s not a cute tradition. It’s not grounded in a cute tradition.

      Women have choice, but why is it OK to exercise a choice that is rooted in a history that makes us second/third class on a par with animals?

      It’s like those women who insist on wearing burkas as a choice. Yes, it’s a choice, but we all know it’s not a cute choice based on it’s history and what it represents and we are rightly concerned.

      We should all have our own names irrespective of who we marry. Men and women.

      • FLORC says:

        Some do it because it’s tradition that has roots in tthe context of property/ownership to another. Some do it because their husbands last name fits better than theres. Some do it because they just want to. And some take their SOs name because there’s benefits to it in some form.
        I’m just stating for the sake of it. Not because you don’t understand that.

        In context of this it’s not a big deal. In the “grand scheme” it’s archaic. A more acceptable way of possession labeling without the stigma. If that makes sense…

      • Imo says:

        Unless women completely come up with a self-designed, self-generated surname it is all patriarchal BS anyway. Silly to go on about it when even the maiden or surnames we rant about keeping/hyphenating were foisted on us by men. Had it ever occured to me when I was younger I would have chosen my own highly personal surname and changed my name legally. My daughters and sons would then have a name free of gender weighting.

      • inthekitchen says:

        LAK, I think you’re reading something in my post that isn’t there. Of COURSE I understand the history of women taking men’s last names and where on earth did I say it was a “cute tradition” or was grounded in a “cute tradition?!” Jesus, what are you talking about?! Did you mean to post that under someone else’s post? I really don’t get your reply to me AT ALL.

        My point was that 1) they BOTH appeared to have taken each other’s last names – GREAT! – and 2) women do this all the time and – hopefully by now – we have moved past the point where doing so means a woman is less than a man or is his property…therefore if a man wants to take his wife’s last name it also should not imply that he is now less than. I kept my last name when I married – and my husband even considered taking my last name – but as IMO says, my last name is my grandfather’s anyway (as my mother kept her last name), so it came from a man anyway.

      • FLORC says:

        Help me understand this.
        “Had it ever occured to me when I was younger I would have chosen my own highly personal surname and changed my name legally. My daughters and sons would then have a name free of gender weighting.”

        Wouldn’t your children just take on your (female) surname that of their father? And then later on choose their own name free of their parents? Otherwise the choice of name would be linked to gender…?

        Best way I can make sense of this… We as a peaople will always see gender and that will play a role in judgement (for lack of a better term) because of biology. It’s the qualities that should make for names to be considered/adopted/shared/chosen. IMO.
        I’m proud to have taken my husbands name because I love it. And I’m proud to have my mothers name as a 2nd middle. And my father was adopted so I share nothing really with that side and their name. It was a simple choice. Not a choice based on gender.

      • MelissaManifesto says:

        The whole point of having a choice is to choose, to choose something regardless of how others may feel about it—that is what choices are. Any couple in a respectful relationship does not have the time to nitpick about these issues once all the grounds have been laid. I don’t think a woman taking her husband’s last name makes her on par with an animal, you may not like or agree with it, but it should be respected. You can’t preach about choices if you are not respecting someone’s in the first place.

      • Imo says:

        No, the new name would have no link to gender. It would be a reflection of my personality, interests, career etc etc the choices are endless. But it would not be a name passed down from one male to another to identify a person’s blood/familial/legal relationship to a male. It would be a fresh, genderless start, so to speak. So my children would carry that name alone or hyphenated with their father’s name until they were old enough to do as they saw fit. So a Ms KickAssYogaInstructor would reflect me not my spouse or other males we descended from – and Ms KickAssYogaInstructor has nothing to do with gender.

      • sunshine says:

        It’s none of your business how others choose to live and it’s extremely rude of you to judge their choices simply because it’s something you wouldn’t do. And calling people on par with animals is just a step too far and utterly unnecessary.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        …maiden names are passed down from the Father’s side of the mother. We didn’t escape ‘a name foisted upon us by men’ because we do or do not take our husband’s name. There’s, usually, still some male influence on your last name.

        At least imo has the right idea of creating an utterly new name, though even inanimate objects have gender in many languages so I’d be interested to see how that works out.

      • Imo says:

        Eternal Side Eye
        True about inanimate objects having a gender association although I always thought that was mostly for indefinite/definite article and adjective purposes. Still interesting.

  4. Catelina says:

    I mean, I agree with what she’s saying about the names I guess but the little essay she wrote was kind of ugh. Something about her is so unlikable to me.

  5. Babalon says:

    I feel like this woman could (and likely would) build a soapbox out of a fart, really.

    Anything for attention, I guess.

  6. jen2 says:

    I guess I am lost on this one. They can do what they want, and needs no “defending” and redefining of masculinity. That seems like a bit much.

    • A says:

      I think it’s cool that he took her name. It’s still not the norm and generally assumed that if anyone is going to make a change in surname, it will be the woman. I think she’s right ~ it’s good to think about these things, the origin of it all ~ women as property ~ and look at our reactions to a story about a man changing his surname.

  7. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Yep, she’s one who’ll definitely be called wrong for anything she says or does.

    In any case I agree with her. It’s interesting to me how insignificant it is (taking one name or another) but how some men stomp their foot down and refuse to change theirs, even some commenters said their SO refused.

    It’s a shame but not shocking, I think the world is changing but there’s still plenty of ignorance abounding. She has a point about the effects this could have and how’s that unfairly coming from society…damn on her for having an intelligent point.

  8. Mila says:

    it seems to be a big deal for her and she seems to have to justify it to herself, there was hardly any big reactions to it.

  9. lisa2 says:

    This hasn’t become a big topic in the media. This was known how many days ago. Maybe she wants it to be a big thing. If he was a huge celebrity.. maybe.. but he is not a big named celebrity.

    Married people can do what is right for them. The woman taking her husband’s name or the husband taking his wife’s name. It doesn’t affect anyone but them. So nobody should care one way or the other.

  10. Darkladi says:

    Dear Zoe,

    No one gives a sh*t. Have a seat.

    All of us

    • Olenna says:

      Ha! My sentiments exactly!

    • Nicolette says:


    • Greyson says:

      Check out the Daily Mail and Facebook. She’s responding because there WAS a backlash.

      You personally may not care, but she isn’t imagining this all in her head..

      • sunshine says:

        So? People can have opinions, not everyone is going to celebrate everything you do. The point is, you have the choice and the right to do as you please.

  11. Lilacflowers says:

    Whatever his last name, he will probably always be: “Marco Who?”

    • Jegede says:

      Pretty much.

    • Monn says:

      actually, his name was known in the business even before he started dating her. He’s an artist, celebrities and rich people buy his sculptures and paintings for millions.
      Marco Perego is basically his brand so he’s changing it to Perego-Saldana now

  12. Blythe says:

    I don’t know why some women think that women who voluntarily take their husband’s surname are being “oppressed by the patriarchy”. This issue will forever be one that makes me yawn.

    • Jegede says:

      Me too.
      And yes, that’s yet another buzzword/phrase that gets thrown about, when some cannot understand those who see things differently.

      • A says:

        I don’t know, I think it’s generally more expected that a woman will take a man’s name. I don’t hear much argument the other way. I have heard of families being upset when the mother wants her surname to be used for the child rather than the father’s. It’s still the assumption that it will be the Dad’s surname used, no?

  13. FingerBinger says:

    Who made a massive deal about Marco’s name change? No one cares.

  14. Kiki says:

    it feels like she made it more of an issue than it needed to be.

    In the original interview, she presented it as her ‘warning’ him about potential backlash.

    And now she’s almost lecturing us about the backlash. Which…the couple articles I’ve seen on this are essentially quoting HER from the article.

    In my opinion; if she had just said ‘this is what we chose to do because it’s right for our family’, there may have been some comments, but doubtful it would have been an issue.

    • sunshine says:

      She wants attention, that’s all this is, and the best way to go about it is to do some “social crusade” thing.

  15. Original T.C. says:

    I guess Zoe does check out the gossip sites. I don’t remember this being a big deal, anywhere else. Even on Celebitchy it wasn’t a hot topic with 100 comments. So I get the feeling, she WANTS us to think it’s a big deal so she can tell Marco “I told you the ignorant masses will make fun of you”.