Master Bedroom - is it racist or sexist?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Tampa Properties

Master bedroom - is it Racist or Sexist?  Apparently so. according to  Aimee Picchi writing in MSN Money recently.  Her article. The 'Master bedroom' falls out of style , states that "The master bedroom is on the way out, thanks to politically correct builders who want to avoid sexual politics with home buyers".

Now I have to admit, I am a very liberal, "conservative" Republican.  However I have NEVER thought of a "master bedroom" in any terms or connotations other than as the main or biggest bedroom.  Now, according to Ms. Picchi, it will forever be the known as the "owners suite!"


Well, whoopty doo!  Sort of a damned if you do and damned if you don't! 


Since she put the thought into my head, if a Master was above or had _________, didn't he/she (must be Politically correct since a Master could be female) also own _________! 

So I Googled "master definition", and here is the first entry:




1. A man who has people working for him, esp. servants or slaves.

2. A ship or boat with a specified number of masts: "a three-master".



Having or showing very great skill or proficiency



Acquire complete knowledge or skill in (an accomplishment, technique, or art).


Now we have to find a new term for the long spindly things on sailboats, we will no longer _______ a skill or even _______  a technique!  We'll just be very, very, very, very, very, very, very good at something.  I am hearing George Carlin doing a monologue about now!


So what should we call that particular room if we can't use Master and Owners isn't much better?  I thought biggest, but that would insult littlest people.

You tell me, Master Bedroom - is it racist or sexist?



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Comments (88)

Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Without a doubt there are instances where "political correctness" has fallen over the edge.  I think it so when applying it to the "Master Bedroom" of homes.  There are masters of a lot of things.  "Master Keys" - "Master in Chief" (military rank) - "Master Plumber" - "Master Chef". . .the list can go on and on.  I believe if an individual is looking for a reason to be overly zealous, while applying "political" correctness to a situation or term, they've likely found the edge, and gone over it!

Apr 25, 2013 03:56 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Norma in #68:  It wasn't "womanized lumber" but something called Wolmanized Lumber.  It is specially treated wood that is used for outdoor decks.  It is environmentally safe, and is a great way to help your deck last a long time. 

Here is a link to it.  Wolmanized EraWood™ Treated Wood.  I hope this clears things up.  :) 

Apr 25, 2013 04:01 AM
Terkel Sørensen
Real Estate Places - Temecula, CA
Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales

I would write something clever, but I'm at a lack of words... it never ends

Apr 25, 2013 04:05 AM
Michael Ford
San Diego, CA

karen 53, there is nothing 'supposed-negative' about being transgendered.  my point was that it is silly to expect someone, anyone, to alter their style to suit your desires.  this was the topic of the post...the forced alteration of existing phraseology for reasons of pretended offense where none is intended.  some folks look for ways to be offended.  that's their choice, of course, but i will not cooperate in their campaign of silliness.

only by calling BS on BS will we stop it before it gains legs...and gains legitimacy where none is deserved.

Apr 25, 2013 04:24 AM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I've always thought that the history of it was just "the one in charge of the house" which could be a slave owner, could be a "man of the house" or could be the "woman of the house" or could just simply be owner.  But whatever the history of the name, words and phrases change and lose meaning too.  Don't know how anyoen would be offended by the current usage, but I've been surprised by other terms that are not PC too. -Kasey

Apr 25, 2013 05:40 AM
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

If we have to call it something, how about the Main Bedroom, or Primary Bedroom, or Mortgagee's Bedroom, or "He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named's" Bedroom? One of these should be PC enough for 'em...

Apr 25, 2013 06:56 AM
Suzanne Taylor
Ultima Real Estate - Corpus Christi - Corpus Christi, TX
Home Sales In Corpus Christi, TX

It seems like you can't even utter a sentence with breaking a new rule.  Brother!!  I will continue to call it the master suite!!  How about master electrticians, master carpenters, master means the best - nothing to do with the sex.


Apr 25, 2013 07:31 AM
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner
Travis Realty - Enterprise, AL
email: / cell: 334-494-7846

Yep, agree with some other posts. "Master" is the same as "Owner", no matter who or what they are! Some people have too much time on their hands and just NEED to complain about SOMETHING!

Apr 25, 2013 08:03 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

I think that A). Amy has too much time on her hands, B). too much human resource is spent over such concerns when there are far greater problems facing all of us and C). has anyone ever complained about this???

Apr 25, 2013 08:05 AM
Chrissy Doremus ~ US Inspect ~
US Inspect - Chantilly, VA
Residential Property Inspections

So does this mean that I also no longer get to be a king or queen when I sleep at night??

Apr 25, 2013 10:51 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

It could be called the Grand bedroom or Great bedroom or the Main bedroom, yet who really cares what it's called as long as we have one, don't you agree?

Apr 25, 2013 10:54 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Travis, actually they are not the same.  Some words in the English language have a feminine form, some do not.  If there is a Master, there could be a Mistress.  There is no feminine form of Owner... so it stands for either/both.

Suzanne... you forgot about working down at the fishing lodge.  What about the head fishing guide... the Master Baiter?

Paddy... does the fact that perhaps on woman may have complained make their concerns unfounded?  I think not.  You are nonchalantly dismissing half... actually slightly more than half of the human race, here.

Apr 25, 2013 12:12 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Until I saw some new construction builders start calling it the "owner's suite" I never really thought about this. As a northerner transplanted to the south, I was told the "racial" overtones in the word master had a negative impact.

Apr 26, 2013 02:29 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Nina... I think it was also changing to the "owner's suite" because new homes were getting larger, and "master" bedrooms along with their HUGE baths needed an enhanced way of describing them.

Apr 26, 2013 02:46 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Steven - Political correctness has gone way over the edge. Now it's just stupid.

We just read that the state of Washington is changing/disallowing all titles that sound gender-specific. From now on they'll have a mail person, a first base person, a Power Line Person (My son the Lineman will love that one.), a service repair person, and on and on.

I guess there will no longer be waiters and waitresses - they'll all be waitpersons.

We were debating this the other evening in our (non politically correct) shop. My neighbor wondered what they'll do about husbands and wives. Will preachers now say "I now prounce you spouse and spouse?"

All I can say to those who are so bent on finding a reason to be offended is this: Get over your self-absorption and go do something useful.

Apr 28, 2013 04:54 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Marte, I don't know about the rest of them, but mail persons have been called letter carriers for a long time.  WaitPersons have been Servers for a very long time, service repair is a service tech.  What's the big deal?

Apr 28, 2013 02:13 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Political Correctness is really going to far and there is too much sensitivity out there.  

Apr 30, 2013 04:47 AM
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

Steven - This is unbelievable!  When will all this politically correct crap go away?  In our MLS, when writing driving directions to a property, we're not allowed to state "turn right at the church."  Can't mention the word church because that might offend someone!  Ridiculous...

May 02, 2013 12:32 AM
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

yes indeed we only sell OWNER's SUITES!!!!! :-)

Jul 11, 2013 10:40 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

I was just cleaning out some old emails and came across this post. I just list it as bed 1, bed 2, etc.  Funny how we get worried about naming a room and forget about the value of just describing the space. Buyers just want to know what is there before they go take a look. 

Jun 22, 2014 09:28 PM