‘Pufta’ is an insult only if you’re a homophobe

Published: November 17, 2011 at 4:48pm

It looks like the self-professed progressive elements of Maltese politics still think of ‘pufta’ – from the British ‘poofter’, hence the ‘a’ ending to reflect correct pronunciation – as the most horrendous term of abuse possible for a (“real”) man.

That’s it. I give up.

Try explaining to these people why you can’t call yourself liberal, progressive or even ordinarily decent and think of ‘pufta’ as a grievous insult.


31 Comments Comment

  1. ciccio2011 says:

    Are these the new generation of socialists?

  2. Jozef says:

    If I remember well in 1985, my father recieved a phone call from my sister asking him to pick her up as Lorry Sant’s men had taken over the square in the video.

    They also overturned a number of cars to block access.

  3. Frank Dalli says:

    If political parties use the term ‘pufta’ to the political party , chaos will happen for sure. I can’t understand this daphne caruana , because it is like you are accepting the next generation in politics to use this terms! I accepted more professional work from a well popular journalist like your self..tisk tisk tisk

    • Frans says:

      Nothing to understand.Most people who just read the headline will automatically assume that the word “pufta” was used by the progressives not the SDM.
      Misleading for a reason obviously.

  4. Orlando Ellul Micallef says:

    They deserve a better speaker.

  5. Rob says:

    …or if you hate liars. Dyke!

  6. Stacey says:

    What would have happened if there was STRAIGHT written instead of PUFTA?

  7. Ganni Sevasta says:

    The Editing of a logo, irrespective of how it is edited, Is never acceptable.

    G Sevasta :)

  8. Il-Ħmar says:

    Daphne, you might be interested to know that the predominant use for the word “pufta” in the educated under-40 demographic is no longer to refer to homosexual men, but it is used to describe someone who is generally despicable with a penchant for backstabbing. In short, being gay does not make you a pufta. Being a politician is usually a better bet.

    [Daphne -” the predominant use for the word “pufta” in the educated under-40 demographic is no longer to refer to homosexual men, but it is used to describe someone who is generally despicable with a penchant for backstabbing”: I trust you understand the inherent homophobia here. But perhaps not. Yes, I do know that it is used in this context, which is EXACTLY WHY I described it as homophobic.]

    • Il-Ħmar says:

      I would concede that in this particular case, Mr Micallef overemphasised his shock at the word pufta being used, and his general grasp of rhetoric leaves much to be desired (foremost among which that he stops talking).

      But with your reasoning – a weak version of which I would gladly accept – whoever decided to edit Pulse’s logo to read pufta, someone who quite possibly is from the opposing camp, the pro-PN SDM) must also, in some way, share the homophobic sentiment which you are concerned with.

      [Daphne – Pulse annoy everyone, not just the SDM. They even manage to annoy me, and I’m not a student or 20 years old. So don’t jump to conclusions. And don’t generalise either: I know plenty of people that age (largely because I had three at home for a start) and none of them are even remotely homophobic or think of people as different or The Other because of their sexuality. The people who have most trouble wiith homosexuality tend to be in the Labour Party’s market, because that demographic is extremely conservative and still embraces the peasant concepts of honour and ‘maleness’. Then there are the religious nuts, but that’s another thing.]

      If that is indeed the case, then surely you ought to extend your concern to whether the younger portion of our population is still intolerant of homosexuality.

      I trust you would agree that if that were indeed the case, it would be far more worrying than this post’s premise. Or maybe not.

  9. Closet heterosexual says:

    Great stuff. So it-Tina Biskuttina is still alive and strong after all these years bid-differenza li issa ghandna l-participation tal-fairer sex. Wonder how these things get handed over from generation to generation. Keep it up Pulse, I’m right behind you.

    • A.Attard says:

      here are the lyrics of It-Tina Biskuttina

      it-tina biskuttina
      l-musbieħ irid il-ftila
      l-ftila mhux musbieħ
      u l-ikrah mhux sabiħ
      is-sabiħ mhuwiex ikrah
      l-għaref mhuwiex iblah
      l-iblah mhuwiex għaref
      u l-frieket mhux imgħaref
      l-imgħaref mhumiex frieket
      l-imqajjem mhuwiex rieqed
      ir-rieqed mhux imqajjem
      u l-ħbula m’humiex ktajjen
      il-ktajjen mhumiex ħbula
      l-werqa mhijiex żbula
      iż-żbula mhijiex werqa u
      r-ragħda mhijiex berqa.
      il-berqa mhijiex ragħda
      llum mhuwiex għada
      għada mhux illum u
      xkubetta mhix kanun
      il-kanun mhux xkubetta
      fula mhix karawetta
      karawetta mhijiex fula
      u l-wiżgħa mhix gremxula.
      gremxula mhijiex wiżgħa
      irġiel mhumiex nisa
      nisa mhux irġiel
      u pitravi mhux brunġiel
      il-brunġiel mhux pitravi
      kantuni mhumiex travi
      it-travi mhux kantuni
      u l-baqar mhux muntuni
      il-muntuni mhumiex baqar
      għana mhuwiex faqar
      faqar mhuwiex għana
      u reġina mhix sultana
      is-sultana mhix reġina
      torta mhix pudina
      puuuudiiiiina mhijiex torta u fid-dinja ħadd m’hu xooortaa!!

      • Closet heterosexual says:

        It-Tina Biskuttina was around in the 70s and the closing lines are:

        Ha norqod u nistrih halli ghada nqum sabih
        Ha norqod u nirpoza halli ghada nahxi moghza

        In the clip you can hear them between 3:32 and 3:40

  10. d.farrugia says:

    Tna biskuttina was by the sdm not pulse

  11. Jamie Iain says:

    And this is why people who haven’t sorted out their testosterone should even be dabbling in politics.

  12. Russell Sammut says:

    After being there myself (ex-SDM candidate & twice elected in the Student’s council) I made some observations….

    The Pep talks heard seem, like people are going to war (very lord of the rings)… Its a shame that these teenagers are being used by political parties “to boast that they won junior college” rather than encouraged to work together…. Kindly note that the students at JC spend 1 year and a half… So most students do not even know what SDM and PULSE are or what is their track record all they might know is that they are an extension of PN & Labour Respectively…. So both Parties seek the Most Popular, Handsome & Sexy candidates (in other words vote pullers) to get elected and win the election reagrdless of their abilities, vision and commitment.

    It’s positive seeing both groups cheering next to eachother back in the years each year these elections turned violent… (I cannot try to grasp the reason, but its the way they were) However carcades for a college election? I think its way too much

    On the other hand the age at Junior College is from 15-18 years (mostly 16-17)… Im rather worried about the amount of alcohol seen in the videos…. its a shame there are some laws which are still not being enforced…

  13. Albert Farrugia says:

    Wow….a wonderful display of political conscience among young Maltese students after a generation of PN government. A bright “smart” future awaits these islands. I despair.

  14. Zian says:

    So I’m guessing that the people who called them pufti did not mean it as an insult

  15. silvio says:

    No amount of trying and twisting facts will change the real meaning of the word Pufta.

    It means exactly what it meant ages ago. It is and will always mean, a homosexual man.

    [Daphne – It doesn’t ‘only mean’ homosexual man. It is derogatory, and always used as a insult. It is rooted in contempt for homosexuals/homophobia. It is not a Maltese word. It is a British word – poofter – the ‘er’ in English being pronounced as ‘ah’ or ‘eh’, depending on accent. Without contempt for homosexual men, pufta/poofter wouldn’t be an insult. ‘Kelb’ is one of the worst expressions of contempt you can use for a man in the Arabic world (and in Malta, too, where the legacy of Islam remains despite our protestations to the contrary), but nobody is going to react with horror in England if you call them a dog.]

    It doesn’t take much.to call someone homophobic,just because he still believes that homosexuality is something that everyone should be afraid of.

    It is something unnatural and we are doing wrong to treat this subject as something that should be acceptable.

    Of course I pity these persons. What I don’t accept is that they think they should receive preferential treatment .

    What I am really afraid of is,that one day we will all be sorry that we gave these people too much.

    Something that amazes me is,that it is usually women who give them the most support. Is there an explanation for this?

    [Daphne – Of course there is an explanation for it. Women have been at the receiving end of society’s contempt, prejudice and ill-treatment since the dawn of time. It therefore comes naturally to sympathise with those who are in the same boat, heterosexual men being the common enemy and oppressor, so to speak. Also, heterosexual men fear some perceived threat to their manhood from homosexual men (homosexual women, on the other hand, they find exciting). Women feel no such threat. But do you want what I think is the real truth? It’s a relief for women to speak to men who are not going to misinterpret their friendliness and conversation as ‘she fancies me’, which men tend to do all the time, even when there is nothing remotely attractive about them. To women, gay men are safe. End of story.

    As for your attitude to homosexual men (you make no mention of women, probably because of the reason I mentioned), you are most unwise to advertise it and silly not to work at changing it. Nobody who has a family should hold those views about homosexuality, still less express them constantly. So fine, none of your children were born homosexual. But you might have grandchildren, and what will you do then? More to the point, what will your children do – will they cut you out of their life for rejecting their child, or will they cut their child out of their life to please you?]

    • La Redoute says:

      “We will all be sorry that we gave these people so much”

      I, for one, am sorry you and others still presume that it is for you to deny or donate what belongs to someone else by right.

    • john says:

      We gave these people too much. We should never have allowed them to drive. Or given them the vote. Big mistake. Now look what’s happened to the euro.

    • silvio says:

      Of course I wouldn”t reject them. I would accept them as they are,but that would still not change the way I look at homosexuality.

      [Daphne – That is not accepting them as they are. If you object to homosexuality, you object to any homosexual grandchild you might have. The child will grow up to know it, and you will find yourself the one rejected. You see, this is what you don’t get. You think that you, as a heterosexual man, are the one with the Godgiven right to accept or reject things and people. It never occurs to you for a moment that you might be rejected for your views, possibly even by those close to you. It is absolutely impossible for a man of your age with a large family and a wide circle of friends and acquaintance to know nobody who is a gay man. You might think you are avoiding them, but perhaps it’s just that they’re avoiding you.]

      Would a father or mother reject their child because he is a convicted criminal? Of course not,but that wouldn’t be condoning criminality.

      [Daphne – Crimanlity is a choice. Also, it is a….crime. So while you would be perfectly justified in rejecting a son or daughter who had chosen to murder somebody or traffic in drugs, you have no justification for rejecting a son or daughter who is gay, simply because you don’t like homosexuality and the idea of homosexual relationships revolts you. Also, it is interesting that you see yourself as the one in a position to accept or reject, not realising that others are at the same time deciding whether to accept or reject you. It should occur to you that if you have a homosexual grandson, he might actually reject YOU for your views.]

      i repeat I am not against homosexuals, as a matter of fact I pity them. What I am against is when they seem to be proud of it and they use it to attract sympathy and demand things that makes them feel priviliged.

      I note what you answered my question, why women tend to support homos, more than men. You sound that you do it just to get your own back.

      [Daphne – Own back? You misinterpret me. Women know what it’s like to be at receiving end of discrimination and misogyny. So OBVIOUSLY, we have empathy with men who are at the receiving end of discrimination and homophobia. But to be brutally honest, gay men tend to be better at conversation than straight men are, though this is of course a generalisation.]

      I feel you are wrong as to consider us as your”common enemy” we are not ,as a matter of fact most of us men have only one aim in life, to make our partners as happy and protected as much as possible..

      [Daphne – Oh Silvio, you are such a fossil, really. Straight from the age when women looked to men to make them happy and for protection. And what a high price women paid for that, which is why younger women have opted out of the deal. ]

      • Holland says:

        Your comeback to Silvio is of course spot on, but have you noticed that no gay person has bothered comment?

        That’s because we are completely bored of such people and actually he is the one who has my pity.

        Whilst most gay people have moved on and living their life and and flung the closet door wide open, people like Silvio are still contemplating if they should accept them or not.

        As for heterosexual men feeling threatened, I can say that if my straight friends are threatened, they are hiding it from me very well. From experience, straight men who are sexually and emotionally secure and confident have no problem with gay men.

      • johnUSA says:

        I don’t know why you bothered to answer his comment. Silvio : do you beat up your wife occasionally just to let her know who’s the head of the household (or do you prefer to be called the breadwinner) ?

  16. silvio says:

    No,John USA,I do not occasionally beat my wife, what I sometimes do is buy her some nice present or take her on the occasional cruise,just to let her know how much I appreciate what she ,on her part,does for me.

    I do not want to make a polemic out of this so I admit I might be wrong in some of the things I wrote,and I thank Daphne for pointing them out, I am surely not right all the time but only most of the time. I assure you that humility is one of my hidden virtues.

    • johnUSA says:

      By “what she does for me”, you mean cook for you, do your laundry, keep the house clean. U hallina, mhux zgur qatt ma qbadt mopp f’idejk.

      You don’t have to pity any homosexual. You have no right to pity anyone.

      But then again, since you’re straight, you feel that you have an automatic right to pity anyone who is different to you.

      Furthermore, “I accept them” is completely wrong. You are NO ONE to accept someone.

      By saying I accept them you are automatically implying that you are superior and better. So get a grip on yourself and get over yourself.

  17. Frans says:

    But aren’t the people calling “pufta” the ones guilty of what you are saying? I mean if I consider the word “pufta” as an insult I would use it on my rivals…as was done by the SDM.

    Can’t believe anyone took it the other way around.I mean at most both are guilty of the same thing.

    [Daphne – Why do you assume it was the SDM?]

    • Frans says:

      You’re so right It was quite silly of me to assume it was the SDM. Should have said “Pulse rivals” and let people decide who they are.

      But don’t you agree that the people calling others “pufta” are more guilty than the people taking offence at it?

      [Daphne – How tedious this is turning out to be. No, it is not necessarily ‘Pulse rivals’ either. It is probably somebody who doesn’t like the individuals in Pulse, and that could be anybody. If I scrawl the word ‘pufta’ across a Jon Bon Jovi concert poster that doesn’t make me a Jon Bon Jovi rival, just somebody who doesn’t like Jon Bon Jovi. I must say that from the little I saw of the speaker on the video, I can imagine being a fellow 18-year-old and being sorely tempted to do the same, though I would choose another insult. I don’t know who the people who scrawled the word are, so I can’t discuss them. On the other hand, I know exactly who’s taking offence: he has a name, a face, and calls himself progressive.]

  18. il-Ginger says:

    SDM sucks and so does Pulse/ACT/MOVE/FELCH/etc. They’re worse than pawns in a game of chess, because they don’t stand for anything, because they are nothing more than recruitment agencies for political parties.

    The bus-cading at the end is just bizarre – what are they celebrating?

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