Rosianne Cutajar and David Thake go head to head during a Xarabank debate
Civil liberties minister Helena Dalli has accused former PN candidate and radio host David Thake of “sexist abuse” after he wrote a Facebook post mocking Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar.
— Helena Dalli (@helenadalli) February 22, 2018
Thake today posted a photo of Cutajar side by side with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, with the caption “Il-qahba milli jkollha ttik”. The phrase literally means “the whore can only give you what she has” but is a popular Maltese proverb used to advise people not to expect anything from those with limited resources.
However, Cutajar took it literally. “No vulgar and rude words, typical of David Thake and the PN, will stop me from doing my job. Where are those womens’ rights organisations who had commented so vociferously when similar language was used against them?”
Ebda diskors vulgari u pastaż tipiku ta’ David Thake u l-PN mhu se jaqtali qalbi milli nkompli bil-ħidma tiegħi. Nistaqsi,fejn huma certu ghaqdiet tan-nisa li kkummentaw b’mod vociferu hafna meta lingwagg simili ghal dan intqal fil-konfront taghhom? #2weights2measures pic.twitter.com/eBFZ4boQkL
— Rosianne Cutajar (@RosianneCutajar) February 22, 2018
This was an obvious reference to the Womens’ Rights Foundation, who had reported former GWU boss Tony Zarb to the police for hate speech after he described a group of women who protested outside Castille as prostitutes. Zarb has since been charged in court, not with hate speech but with “misuse of electronic equipment”.
The women’s branch of the Labour Party also weighed in, insisting Thake’s Facebook comment must be condemned by “everyone who wants a serious and dignified style of politics”.
“Above all, it must be condemned by the PN’s new leadership, which has been quick to condemn various people, and by womens’ rights organisations,” it said in a statement.
Thake dismissed the criticism as “pathetic”, insisting he was only reciting a popular Maltese proverb and not describing Cutajar as a prostitute. However, Cutajar questioned why he used that particular proverb and not the identical-meaning “L-ispijzar milli jkollu jtik” (the pharmacist can only give you what he has in stock).