‘Master bedroom’ may have become a politically-incorrect term

Living as we do in the ‘Age of the Offended’, it was only a matter of time before estate agents became a target for ‘correctness’.

Several national newspapers have reported that the term ‘master bedroom’ will no longer be used by ‘dozens of estate agents’ in England due to its allusions to sexism and slavery.

Instead they will use the terms ‘primary’ or ‘principal’ bedroom, reported The Times.

The movement to remove the use of the word apparently began when a black programmer at Twitter in America complained about the use of the terms ‘master’ and ‘slave’ in relation to computer programming, as well as the process known as an ‘automatic slave rekick’.

Pre-dating the appearance of Black Lives Matter, a petition by employees led to Twitter starting to phase out insensitive programming terms.

Last week in Texas, the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) said it will stop allowing the term “master bedroom” or “master bathroom” to be used in descriptions.

The decision to remove the term comes after a group of real estate professionals said the term “master” on property descriptions represents a potential stigma.

HAR has updated the phrase to “primary bedroom” and “primary bath” on listings.

“‘Master’ represents a stigma and place in time that we need to move forward from,” said Tiffany Curry, a Houston real estate broker.

Some U.S. home builders are dropping the term, too, referring to the bedroom as the “owner’s retreat” instead.

The National Association of Realtors asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) about the term, and HUD advised the association that the term “master bedroom” isn’t discriminatory and doesn’t violate any fair housing laws.

“NAR sees no reason that real estate professionals cannot use the term, as there is also no evidence that it has any historical connection to slavery or any other kind of discrimination,” said NAR President Vince Malta.

Peter Wetherell, executive chairman of Wetherell in Mayfair, is reported as saying that the term would be changed on all his listings.

He told The Times:

“These changes are being driven by political correctness and dramatic transformations in the buyer demographic across prime central London.

“The typical buyers are now aged from their early twenties to their mid-forties and from all over the world.

“This young demographic tends to be very broad-minded and find any form of racism or sexism deeply offensive.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, was quoted by the Evening Standard as saying:

“We are used to dealing with sensitivities concerning different races and cultures.

“The word master does carry historically racist undertones.

“If it were to cause offence to any buyer, seller or tenant, we wouldn’t have a second thought in amending our advertising material to remove it.

“It is something we are considering doing to prevent such offences occurring.”

Not everyone agrees.

The Breitbart.com site unequivocally and inaccurately reported that, “Estate agents across England will be banned from using the term ‘Master Bedroom’” and quoted Trevor Abrahmson, the managing director of Glentree International, as saying:

“The phrase master bedroom wasn’t used until the early 20th century. If the woke liberal elite want to equate that with slaves and masters, that is ridiculous.”

Elsewhere Edward Heaton, who founded buying agency, Heaton and Partners was reported as saying:

“It is ludicrous that we should be expected to ignore our history and heritage to placate a vociferous minority.”

NAEA/ARLA propertymark gave EYE this statement:

“We are aware that some members are already using terms such as principal bedroom or main bedroom or alternatively numbering rooms in order of size.

“It is down to individual firms to make their own judgement on this, but given alternative phrases work just as well and there is growing awareness that the term master bedroom may be considered offensive, agents should be sensitive to consumer sentiment.”

 

While EYE would not wish for anyone to be demeaned or denigrated by the use of certain words we do wonder where all this is heading.

Will Mastermind disappear from our screens?

Will we no longer be able to gaze in wonder at a Rembrandt masterpiece?

Will all that remastered music have to be silenced?

Will John Le Carre’s masterful, spy-master-riddled stories with their masterstroke endings be consigned to the dustbin?

Will estate agents no longer be able to attend training masterclasses?

We pondered on whether the term ‘Mistress bedroom’ would be more acceptable but then realised that would just open up a whole different can of worms.

 

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34 Comments

  1. Ric

    Too many mastur-baters are making this up as they go along. Ridiculous. End of.

    Report
    1. Toyroom

      Perhaps primarybater will be the new word for it ?

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    2. ajl12no

      It’s because a householder, if male, was known as the Master, the abbreviation for which is Mr. His wife the mistress of the house has the abbreviation Mrs. The master bedroom is the one used by the Master or the Master and his wife. … The “master bedroom” was used in architectural plans to mean the owner’s bedroom. This was in the early 20th century and has absolutely nothing to do with slavery. More nonsense from the militant left. 

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      1. PeeBee

        “…known as the Master, the abbreviation for which is Mr.”
         
        Erm… actually – whilst I agree with the majority of your post, the word ‘Master’ has no universally accepted abbreviation, although ‘Mstr’ and ‘Mst’ are often used.

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  2. JW

    No more ‘Jack & Jill’ bathroom. Not nearly inclusive enough.

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    1. PeeBee

      Hmmm…
       
      This has one potential, distinct upside.  Maybe we can now ban
       
      JULIET BALCONIES!  
       
      (one lives in hope…)

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  3. Ric

    “A must view larger than average semi, with thoughtfully trimmed herbaceous borders”

    Property Porn…

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    1. PeeBee

      OOOOOHHHHH… MATRON!

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  4. crooksy88

    I see this has been written by an ‘eye correspondent’. Rightfully too embarrassed to attach their name to this piffle.

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  5. Blue

    If we can have MOBOS and an Association of Black Police Officers we can have master bedrooms.

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  6. calleb

    How ridiculous!

    Anyway – in my house, it’s the Mistresses bedroom! 😉

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  7. RichardHill61

    Is there really nothing else to write about!?

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  8. JWVW

    I think its quite a fun story. What is fascinating is that the papers have found Agents who actually agree with this American clap-trap!

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  9. JEL

    Box Rooms Matter

     

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    1. PeeBee

      ALL Rooms Matter

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      1. JW

        Good one!

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  10. EAWolf

    I’m a black estate agent and even I think this is so ridiculous! I had a conversation with someone the other day who commented on a EA Letter that they received (not ours) which said “People Buy People first, services second”. This person was enraged at the piece of marketing which a few months ago probably would have been thrown away I, without a second thought. I support my Bame community BUT I think it can get too silly and petty. And this is it getting too silly… (anyway, I’m sure when me babies are born they’re referred to as Master….. Will that need to change now too?)

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  11. The Outsider

    I think this eye correspondent needs to look up the etymology of the example phrases they use at the end and learn that none have connotations with servitude.

    I’ll bet a fiver they’ve written “All Lives Matter” on a Facebook post in the last couple of months.

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  12. MarkJ

    I think we’ve found a new source of employment for those unfortunately losing jobs in these turbulent times – rewriting history in all its guises….

     

     

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  13. padymagic

    It’s like “man’s cave”  it doesn’t translate so well when you call it a lady’s….. erm !

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  14. Alan Murray

    The lunatics have truly taken over the asylum.

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  15. GPL

     
    I wonder what Bob Monkhouse would make of it all?
     
    “The Queen” should no longer be referred to as “The Queen” because…….? (fill in whatever you like).
     
    When a certain Pop Star (forgive me, I’m an Old Barsteward) became “They” …..that was it for me. I now opt for “WTF” for anything other than Adam & Eve.  
     
     

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  16. Will2

    It seem clear that more money needs to be invested in mental health and the construction of more secure units as clearly lunacy is steeply on the rise.  I blame the media for giving time and space to all this nonsense.

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  17. RedRebel

    Ok so now do we drop

    Mastercard

    Master Chef

    Mastermind

    Masterclass

    ???

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    1. PeeBee

      Masters Degree?

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  18. markus

    What do we ban it for next ?
    No more ‘Master Craftsman’?
    Do we ban the Star Wars films for having Jedi Masters?
    How about no longer officially referring to boys as Master so-and-so?
    Does Parliament do away with the Master of the Rolls? Do we no longer obtains a Master’s Degree?
    Will ships no longer have a Sailing Master?
    Post Offices to do away with the Post Master?
    Or is this just a couple of idiots getting themselves some column inches?
    Personally, I’ll start using the term ‘Master Bedroom’ even in relation to one bedroom flats…

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    1. devonlondoner59

      Who is giving the thumbs down on any comment that jokes about this post??

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    2. biffabear

      I am going to ‘take up’, using the term, Master, wherever I can.

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  19. Property Pundit

    So now we change things even before we find out if anybody is, or could be, offended? Right, got it.

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  20. ajl12no

    My letter to the editor of the Times:
    This latest assault on the English language is a giant step too far with yet more history being rewritten to suit. Who on earth came up with this preposterous notion that a master bedroom had anything to do with slavery? I’m absolutely certain that having done your research you already know the rather banal origins of the term “Master Bedroom”. It only came about in the mid 20th century due to rooms being designed more spaciously, largely thanks to central heating and was simply attributed to the master/mistress or owner of the house. Before the 2nd world war the term was barely used and only in very large houses. After the war, the growing middle classes were able to get bigger bedrooms and architects referred to the owners bedroom as the master bedroom. I can see why feminists might have a problem with this, but not anti-racists since the term had no connection with slavery, or indeed race at all. So please lets stop this utter nonsense and rewriting of history before it gets any further out of hand.

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    1. biffabear

      Well put.

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  21. Coco

    While I think master bedroom etc. is a perfectly acceptable and widely understood term.

    I think referring to George Floyd’s horrific death in such an off hand way is why people have to stand up for Black Lives.

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  22. PeeBee

    “Yes. “master” refers to a male…”
     
    Not in the context it is used for above – or in many other in many instances. 
     
    There’s a huge difference between a noun and an adjective – or even a verb.
     
    Pity the PC brigade don’t understand basic English.

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  23. PeeBee

    “Pity the PC brigade don’t understand basic English.”
     
    Use of that last noun will probably upset the bu99ers an’all…

    Report
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