Monday, April 26, 2010

'Boobquake' Day Today: Can Cleavage Cause Earthquakes?

Tens of Thousands of Women Commit to Event on Facebook



It promises to be a "scientific experiment" like none you've ever seen.

To test an Iranian cleric's claim that immodestly dressed women are responsible for earthquakes, tens of thousands of women around the country plan to show off an extra bit of skin today.

It all started a week ago, when Purdue University senior Jennifer McCreight, 22, wrote a blog post about some "supernatural thinking" put forward by Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, an Iranian prayer leader.

"Many women who do not dress modestly & lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which [consequently] increases earthquakes," he was quoted as saying during Friday prayers in Tehran.

Put off by the cleric's comment, the genetics major turned to her blog and declared that it was "Time for a Boobquake."

"On Monday, April 26th, I will wear my most cleavage-showing shirt," she wrote. "I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. & With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake."

Her boob-baring comments quickly took the Internet by storm.

Boobquake Facebook Page Attracts Tens of Thousands of Women

By the end of the week, more than 100,000 women had pledged their support on the event's Facebook page and the hashtag #boobquake was a trending term on Twitter.

"It was just one of those things that popped in my head," she said. "I never thought there'd be that much attention."

McCreight said that although "Boobquake" was intended was a joke, sometimes humorous responses to "hateful" comments can be valuable.

"When someone makes a statement that you can scientifically test, that immodest clothing causes earthquakes, then we should go ahead and test it," she said. "It's sort of tongue-in-cheek, but I think that light-hearted mockery is sometimes the best way to deal with things like this."

While most responses have been positive, she said that some people have criticized the event for "objectifying" women. But she said she's only asking women to wear clothing they already have in their closets on the same day.

Women of All Ages Pledge Solidarity to 'Boobquake' Cause

"I'm not forcing anyone to go outside their comfort zone," she said. "Just wear something that you consider immodest and that's up to the person." Although Lafayette, Indiana, where Purdue is located, will be the "epicenter" of the event, McCreight said, women all over the world have sent her messages of solidarity.

On the "Boobquake" Facebook page, women from Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa have pledged support. And McCreight has even received e-mails from Iranian women cheering her on.

In the United States, women of all ages have seized on the opportunity to celebrate femininity.

"I feel women have been forced to "hide" our breasts and we live with them everyday, so why hide them?" 50-year-old Diana Riley Gasior told ABCNews.com. "I'm proud to be part of this fun day to celebrate women."

Kaila Cummins, 20, said she plans to go "pin up" with her outfit to challenge Sedighi's statement.

"Throughout history, women have had to deal with ignorant ideals conceived by men," she said. "I am proud to be a part of this movement to stand up and show that Sedighi's teachings are ludicrous."

Copyright © 2010 ABC News

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