Racist, sexist ‘master bedroom’ no longer politically correct

Master bedroom
Photo credit: Business Insider

The PC police are at it again. In the continuing endeavor to rid the English vernacular of anything that could be offensive, the term “master bedroom” is being phased out of use in residential real estate, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

Instead, builders are starting to use the term “owner’s suite” or “owner’s bedroom” to describe the largest bedroom in a home. A survey found that six out of 10 major Washington, D.C.-area homebuilders are making the change on their floor plans.

The reason given is that “master” is seen as offensive on two fronts: in gender, where it tends to sound masculine, and in race, where it conjures images of the slave-master.

“Owner’s bedroom” was noted by Brian Block, managing broker for McLean, Va.-based RE/Max Allegiance, as the most commonly used term in higher-end listings, providing a more upscale tone. He said most large bedrooms include a sitting area, enormous walk-in closets and lavish bathrooms.

“I imagine it’s not only a more accurate description but also a more politically correct term of art,” Steve Nardella, senior vice president of operations for Bethesda-based Winchester Homes Inc., told the Business Journal.

A number of builders are making the change, according to the report:

Winchester, Pulte Homes, NV Homes and Ryan Homes (both under the NVR Inc. umbrella), Van Metre Cos. and D.R. Horton Inc. have all replaced “master” in their floor plans, some more recently than others.

Richmond American Homes, Shulz Homes Corp. Sekas Homes Ltd. (in some of its models) and Quaker Custom Homes LLC continue to employ the word “master” in their designs.

In general, said Grant Johnson of Sekas Homes, “we’re using owner suite, but sometimes it will come through as master.”

In the residential real estate arena, Lorraine Arora, vice president and managing broker of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., said older brokers still tend to use “master” out of habit. But the younger agents have made the change because they “want to be more politically correct.”


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