How Many Husbands Take Their Wives’ Last Names?

Zoe and Marco Saldana (KCCI)

Zoe and Marco Saldana (KCCI)

Happy Friday! Earlier this week, actress Zoe Saldana told “InStyle” that her husband Marco Perego wanted to take her last name, instead of having her take his. Saldana was initially hesitant:

I tried to talk him out of it. 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 sheet.’

Now, that’s a true man right there. Husbands taking their wife’s last name isn’t too common, at least anecdotally. But what about the data? Has it been tracked?

No, it hasn’t, at least not yet. I found several articles profiling couples who did it, but each article mentioned in some way that statistics weren’t tracked. Oh well. On the other hand, it’s a topic ripe for picking for a Ph.D. thesis. Any takers?

But Mr. Saldana (né Perego) made a huge impact. Meghan Blalock of “Who What Wear” puts his decision in context:

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.

So his decision shows that he’s not just a traditionally masculine man, but that he has a sensitive side towards women and feminism, and isn’t afraid to show it. Pretty badass, right? Maybe we’ll see more men follow suit!

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