Listen up, future homeowners: unless you want to sound like a politically-incorrect asshole during your next appearance on House Hunters (more of an asshole than you sound when you walk into the kitchen of a shitball house and gasp, “Ooooooo, granite counters!!!!” like a total rube), you’ll want to stop using the phrase “master bedroom.” That’s because, according to a survey of 10 major builders in the Washington D.C. area, the word “master,” when it immediately precedes the word “bedroom” is loaded with racist and gender-biased connotations, and should therefore only be used as a word herald in the phrases “Master Blaster,” “Master P,” or “Master Shake.”
According to a recent report in the Baltimore Business Journal, “master bedroom” is falling out of favor with the next generation of home builders. The word “master,” writes the Journal’s Michael Neibauer, “has connotation problems, in gender (it skews toward male) and race (the slave-master),” which is precisely why builders are starting to abandon it in favor of a new, hopefully less-loaded phrase: “owner’s suite.”
Home builders surveyed by the Journal all expressed their desire to distance themselves from the troubling origins of “master bedroom,” and all the images it calls to mind of Calvin Candie (spoiler alert) enjoying an unbridled night of incestuous love making and white cake in his bedroom. Of course, there’s more to the change in terms than simply avoiding connotations of a patriarchal, slave-based agrarian economy — builders want to push some high-end houses:
Word of the change is now reaching the resale market, where “owner’s bedroom” is most commonly used in higher-end listings, said Brian Block, managing broker for McLean, Va.-based RE/Max Allegiance.
“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,” Block wrote in an email. “Owner Suite conveys a sense of being distinguished, having ‘made it’ or ‘arrived’ rather than the everyday ‘Master Bedroom.’”
You see? Capitalism really is quite amazing, since it has the unique power to turn even the most well-meaning efforts at greater social and semantic consciousness into shameless marketing schemes. Enjoy all those stainless steel appliances, suckers.
Homeowners scrap 'master bedroom' because of racist, gender-biased connotations [Baltimore Business Journal]
Image via AP, Mark Wilson