Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego
Avatar actress Zoe Saldana and Italian artist Marco Perego married secretly in June 2013REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

It has sparked a debate amongst couples and raised a few eyebrows, but Zoe Saldana has defended her husband's decision to take her last name after they married.

In a lengthy Facebook rant, the Avatar actress addresses the revelation that her spouse, Italian artist Marco Perego, chose to break with convention by swapping his surname for the actress's.

Saldana, 36, explained: "Fathers, sons, brothers, men everywhere: Your legacy will not perish if you take your partner's surname, or she keeps hers... I felt proud that my husband decided to take my last name as his own... and I his.

"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?"

Many sceptics have called into question Perego's masculinity but the Pirates Of The Caribbean actress hits back at the double standards: "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?"

She continued: "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 led 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."

Saldana first revealed her bold choice in an interview with InStyle magazine for their July issue, telling the publication: "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.'"

The couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony in London in June 2013 and welcomed their twin sons, Bowie and Cy, in November 2014.