Reading through the blogs today I notice a word I haven’t heard used much until recently: ‘pooftah.’ I thought this word had fallen out of usage after in the 1970’s when former PM Billy McMahon wife Sonia’s, response to the Sunday Observer’s accusation was printed : “My Billy’s no poofter – Sonia tells.” Then I heard it recently used by Stirling Moss, the once great British Formula One Racing Star, to ask for a masculine type like Daniel Craig to play him in a Hollywood biopic “I hope the actor would be masculine.” he said, “not a poofter or anything like that. Perhaps the guy from Skyfall.”
Imagine my surprise then when I re-read the blog and realised that the term wasn’t used to attack the well-known journalist and refugee cry-baby David Maher at all, but the PM himself, when the author said: “I’m not going to vote for that lying pooftah.” If this word is making a comeback as a form of abuse, and not necessarily as a substitute for the much, much nicer word ‘gay,’ then I welcome it. And just as long as it can be used by anyone,(unlike the word “n****r,” which can only be used by Afro-Americans and Bill Clinton with the knowledge that extreme violence would not quickly follow,) I welcome it.
If this is the case, only, thenonce again: I welcome it. For there are quite a number of people for whom this curious-sounding word should make an immediate comeback as an adjective to apply to in this current volatile political climate, many of them on the Left, but one or two on the right – and not necessarily gay. Having said that, I would not use the term “that old pooftah,” for example, to describe an old Liberal has-been supporting Sarah Hanson-Young in her bid to keep her seat in the senate, particularly as I know Malcolm Fraser is not gay.