Homebuilders Scrap ‘Master Bedroom’ Because of Racist, Gender-Biased Connotations

Michael Neibauer, Washington Business Journal, April 16, 2013

The “master suite” is being phased out—not from our homes, but from our lexicon.

A survey of 10 major Washington, D.C.-area homebuilders found that six no longer use the term “master” in their floor plans to describe the largest bedroom in the house. They have replaced it with “owner’s suite” or “owner’s bedroom” or, in one case, “mastre bedroom.”

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).

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

Either way, the “master suite” has been linguistically shoved aside.

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Randy Creaser, owner of D.C.’s Creaser/O’Brien Architects PC, said he ditched “master” in the early 1990s in his home designs. He vaguely recalled a few lawsuits brought against builders over the phrase. {snip}

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