Realtors across the country, including those in Minnesota, are phasing out terms like “master bedroom” in order to be more “inclusive.”
This is due to the claim that the term “master bedroom” originates from homes on plantations during times of slavery in the U.S.
The term “master bedroom,” which is used to describe the main bedroom in the house that usually has a bathroom attached, will now be replaced with terms like “primary bedroom,” “main bedroom,” or “owner’s bedroom.”
“There’s a hidden discriminatory piece that falls when you say ‘master’ bedroom,” Jackie Berry, a listing agent for Edina Realty, told the Star Tribune. Berry is also “an educator in a racism and real estate continuing education class for Minnesota industry professionals,” according to the Star Tribune.
This is despite the fact that the term “master bedroom” was first used in a 1929 Sears catalog, decades after slavery had been abolished.
Along with “master bedroom,” realtors are also in the process of removing the phrases “his-and-her closet and sinks” and “mother-in-law suites” in order to use more gender-neutral terms. “Guesthouse,” “dual closets,” and “dual-entry bathrooms” are taking the place of the gender-specific phrases, the Star Tribune reported.
Berry said a push for the language change came after George Floyd’s death, when people had an “increased awareness and wokeness” about racial justice, she told the Star Tribune.
Attorney Ben Crump, who represented George Floyd’s family, commended this change on Twitter, stating, “We can create more inclusive, aware communities.”
Words MATTER! Good to see Minnesota phasing out the use of “master bedroom” in real estate listings. Many associate it with slavery, a repetitive reminder of plantation life. Together, we can create more inclusive, aware communities! https://t.co/Kx24JB2rPd
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 9, 2021
At this time, there is not an industry rule that would enforce the change, so the change in wording falls on individual realtors and agencies.