Why Don’t More Men Take Their Wives’ Names?

The Saldanas.
The Saldanas. Photo: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

In this month’s InStyle, Zoe Saldana gushes about her marriage to Italian artist Marco Perego. It’s a marriage of equals: They are equally beautiful, equally independent, and, as evidenced by Marco’s willingness to take Saldana as his surname, equally committed to a marriage built on gender equality:

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, ‘Ah, Zoe, I don’t give a s–t.’

While it’s no longer an eyebrow-raiser when a woman chooses to keep her own last name after marriage, society has yet to evolve to a place where it’s common to find men who would even consider taking their wife’s surname (despite a handful of trend stories). Sure,  George Clooney is basically Mr. Amal Alamuddin in our hearts, but all legal documents and monogrammed towels bear the Clooney name. Same with Mr. Tasha McCauley, or as he is still legally known, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Three cheers to the Saldanas for quickening the pace of progress.

While the Clooneys’ decision is probably a function of celebrity, deciding on a shared surname should be a democratic process based on whose name sounds cooler and will secure dinner reservations at trendy restaurants.

Why Don’t More Men Take Their Wives’ Names?