My Husband and I Sleep in a “Master Bedroom.” Does that Make Us Sexists or Racists or Some Kind of ist?

This falls into what my grandmother would call the if-that-don’t-beat-hens-apeckin’-on-a-hot-griddle column. 

Evidently, homebuilders are moving away from labeling the main bedroom in a house the “master” bedroom.


They think it’s sexist. Or maybe it’s heterocentric. Or … maybe they’re nuts.

Personally, I’m leaning toward nuts.

If you want to see some sexism, take a gander at a post I put up this morning called Where are all the good people dead: In the Heart or in the Head? Now that’s sexism. Also misogyny, and hatred of women, and deadly deep sinful hatred of humanity, all rolled into one.

But … “master bedroom??????” I don’t think so.

However, after all that grimness in the earlier post, it is kind of fun to talk about, isn’t it?

From Yahoo Homes:

Has the “master bedroom” ruled the roost for long enough?

Evidently so, according to Washington Business Journal writer Michael Neibauer. His informal survey of 10 major D.C.-area home builders found that six of them are instead using phrases like “owner’s suite” or — and this one just slays me — “mastre bedroom” in their floor plans.

“Why? In large part for exactly the reason you would think: ‘Master’ has connotation problems, in gender (it skews toward male) and race (the slave master),” Neibauer writes.

He found evidence of a trend among listing agents too. The vice president and managing broker of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., Lorraine Arora, told him that her office is split on the issue. Younger agents “want to be more politically correct,” she said, whereas older agents generally stick with “master.”

I asked the National Association of Realtors about this apparent shift. Spokesperson Sara Wiskerchen told me: “While this hasn’t become a widespread trend, we have heard that some real estate brokerages have shied away from using certain phrases that may carry negative connotations. Realtors are strong advocates for homeowners and strive to be respectful of and sensitive to the needs and concerns of their clients.” (Read more here.)

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  • Elizabeth Scalia

    Pretty soon you’ll hear that you shouldn’t have a bigger suite just b/c you own the house. all room sizes should be the same.

    • Rebecca Hamilton


    • Sus

      Why does the suite get the Owner title? Sounds like discrimination to me! My laundry room is going to sue the Owner’s suite. Ha! – it should sue because of how messy it is right now!

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        I hadn’t thought of that Sus. It makes me fearful of what will happen when my kitchen finds out. :-)

  • Amy

    “Owner’s suite,” is a practical substitute. If one is single and owns a two/three bedroom home, my guess is that individual will take the largest bedroom, hence the owner’s suite. It “suites” me!

  • Theodore Seeber

    “Realtors are strong advocates for homeowners and strive to be respectful of and sensitive to the needs and concerns of their clients.”

    No, Realtors are sales people who realize that being politically correct with politically correct people means making a sale.

    • Ed

      Right, and a really smart Realtor will use the term master suite when I say that’s what I’m looking for because as soon as he/she tries to correct me, I will start looking for another one.

  • Manny

    How laughable. They should have a reality show Feminists Gone Wild or Liberals Gone Wild. It would be a hoot to watch them come up with crap like this. LOL!

  • Imelda

    I just wonder where people will stop redefining things. These redefinition will go on forever and ever as new generations find our already ‘sanitized’ words to be very offensive.

  • Ed

    Better not let the liberals get into the electronics business where there are terms like master/slave hard drives or master/slave relays. Oh, and someone ought to tell the US government to get rid of the US Naval Observatory’s Master Clock, which we are all slaves to if we have a cell phone or an “atomic” clock that automatically sets.

  • Filipino Catholic

    This is the same sort of idiocy that led to the protesting of labelling computer equipment with “Master/Slave” terminology. They’re machines, they have no rights and they don’t get offended, silly.

    Of course nowadays there are no more “Master/Slave” setups and each device gets its own connection to the drive controller. Not that we’ve become progressive and egalitarian in humanely treating digital storage equipment, but for performance reasons.

  • Korou

    Well, yes, of course it’s sexist. Self-evidently so. What is there to disagree about?
    No, it’s not a big thing.
    No, it doesn’t offend you.
    Yes, it is sexist.