master bedroom

“Master bedroom” deemed racist, sexist by some

master bedroom Master bedroom deemed racist, sexist by some

A classic residential term gets the PC treatment

It has come to light that select people are offended with the common term used to describe the largest bedroom (with its own bathroom) in a house. The term “master bedroom” apparently has people thinking along the lines of sexism (favoring males) and racism (the slave master).

The phrase is now increasingly being replaced with the phrases “owner’s suite,” “owner’s bedroom,” or even “mastre bedroom”. Steve Nardella, senior vice president of operations for Winchester Homes Inc. told the Washington Business Journal, “I imagine it’s not only a more accurate description but also a more politically correct term of art.”

“The terminology has more of an upscale tone to it, particularly in some of the really large homes that truly have a large bedroom, sitting area, enormous walk-in closets, and lavish bathrooms. ‘Owner Suite’ conveys a sense of being distinguished, having ‘made it’ or ‘arrived’ rather than the everyday ‘Master Bedroom’” said Brian Block, managing broker for McLean’s RE/Max Allegiance. Hmm. Okay.

Oh wait, they’re being serious?

Is it just me, or does this seem like some lame April Fool’s joke? Come on, guys… it’s a phrase to describe a room. A bedroom. The homeowner’s main bedroom. But, I guess since we’re all throwing fits about verbiage, I may need to retract the “April Fool’s” statement above. You know, because it made someone think of April showers, when they really wanted to think about May flowers. While we’re at it, why don’t we rename our canine pets, because the word “dog” has been used in a derogatory manner?



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Honestly, just like everything else, I say if someone doesn’t like the phrasing – then they shouldn’t use it. I can see it now… a nice young couple was looking at a home, and the Realtor said something along the lines of, “You have got to see the master’s suite!”

They probably just stood there flabbergasted at the Realtor’s blatantly racist term. Or the wife politely retreated to her place in the kitchen, while the man (the master) went and checked out his private room. My point exactly.

This is ridiculousness at its finest

I understand the desire to be politically correct… but this just seems rather petty to me. Then again, maybe that’s why my home (which has been on the market for two months) hasn’t sold yet – I’m probably offending potential buyers with terms such as “living room,” “closet,” and “kitchen.”

My personal consensus is whether the change from “master bedroom” to “owner’s suite” is overdue, smart marketing, just a ridiculous stunt? Most likely it isn’t going to drastically affect a buyer’s decision.

Tasha Salinas is a staff writer at AGBeat, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Journalism from Northeastern University. She is an info geek who reads, talks, & thinks way too much. You don't want to know how long it took her to write this bio. You can find her at facebook.com/TashaSalinas.


  • http://www.facebook.com/davetipton1 David Tipton

    Much of this PC stuff seems to me to be a little over the top.

  • Mark Hanna

    This is nothing new. Dealt with this phrase and many more, e.g., “Country Clubber”, “Established Neighborhood”, “French Doors” and many more. Our major newspaper, “The Philadelphia Inquirer,” had software that tagged terms in advertising. This was back in the late 80s, early 90s!

  • rolandestrada

    It will be Master Bedroom for me until my dying breath. You can take all this PC stuff and flush it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/miriambernstein Miriam Bernstein

    Master bedroom was a term that we were not supposed to use because of Fair Housing; I believe it was cleared by HUD a couple of years ago…personally I believe there are better phrases that can be used…