We’ve been so pumped about a piece of news we just heard in a recent InStyle interview: that when Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana got married, her husband, Marco, took her last name. A steadily increasing number of woman are opting to keep their own last name instead of taking their husband’s, which is awesome. However, there’s still a serious problem: when you see a woman take a man’s last name, there’s no question, but vice versa, and there’s often quite a bit of backlash. In some of the more unfortunate scenarios, people assume that the wife forced her husband to take his last name.
Sadly, that’s exactly what Jimmy Kimmel suggested on his show last night when talking with Zoe about the decision. “Your husband—I read this in the news, and I presume it to be true—took your last name,” he said. “. . . did you make him do that?”
Oh, gosh. We know that Jimmy was probably trying to make a joke that fell flat, but it did reflect the kind of double standard that still exists. With just those few words, it gives the impression that the decision for Marco to keep Zoe’s name is emasculating, all while making it seem as though no one in their right mind would opt for this decision.
Luckily, Zoe’s response was totally perfect. First of all, this was her expression, and we’re going to use this image as a reaction to EVERYTHING:
“No! Oh my God!” she exclaimed indignantly. “Why does it mean that a woman has to hold a gun, like ‘You’re gonna be Saldana!'” This was met with a ton of applause and cheers from the audience, because YAAAAAS. Anyone who would have read the interview would know that she mentioned that she had try to talk Marco out of the decision, but he had insisted—he wanted to take her name and didn’t “give a sh*t” what people would say about it. Another YAAAAAS.
Zoe also clarified something that had been a little confusing previously: the couple had actually taken each other’s names. She became Zoe Saldana-Perego, while he became Marco Perego-Saldana. “But I was a gentleman and I allowed the boys to be Perego-Santana,” Zoe told Jimmy. “I’m like, ‘Your name needs to go first.'”
With that, she also raised another super important point: media was covering the fact that Marco took Zoe’s name, but nobody seemed to care that Zoe took Marco’s. “Why doesn’t that make it in the news?” she told Jimmy. It’s just another example of how a woman can take a man’s last name with no problem, but a man taking a woman’s? That’s another story.
Jimmy seemed a little taken aback by the whole thing, saying, “I don’t know, it’s a weird thing.” But he did say that Marco’s new name had a nice ring to it. We totally agree.
Either way, we’re so happy that there’s a serious conversation going on about last names. We hope Jimmy is a little more careful next time, and we thank Zoe for responding PERFECTLY, and for being a fabulous queen, as per usual. (We still love you too, Jimmy.)
Watch the whole clip here: