"In the original script, there was a huge sequence where Edwin Salt (the original male protagonist) saves his wife, who's in danger," says Noyce. "And what we found in the new script, it seemed to castrate his character a little. So we had to change the nature of that relationship." In the end, Salt's husband, played by German actor August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds), was made tough enough that he didn't need saving, thank you much.
So, hidden in an article centering around just how the making of Salt is oh-so empowering for female action heroes is this tidbit. To put it in plainer terms, the filmmakers believe that it was perfectly OK for the spouse to be rescued from mortal danger if said love-interest was a girl, but not if the spouse was a man. So it's great if the action hero is a girl, as long as they don't have to opportunity to one-up any male counterparts and/or reverse the oldest cliche in the action-film handbook. Saying that girls can be portrayed as helpless damsels in distress but boys can't is about as old-school sexist as one can get.