April 22nd, 2010
05:31 PM ET

Blogger: Show cleavage to test cleric’s quake theory

It started as a college student’s snide response to an Iranian cleric’s assertion that scantily clad women cause earthquakes.

But as of Thursday, it had become much, much bigger.

Jen McCreight, a self-described atheist, feminist and geek “trapped in Indiana,” took issue with Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi’s message during Friday prayers in Tehran, the Iranian capital.

The hard-line cleric, who was standing in for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, said women who dress provocatively – thereby tempting men – are to blame for the world’s temblors.

Read cleric story

“When promiscuity spreads, earthquakes increase,” he said. “There is no way other than taking refuge in religion and adapting ourselves to Islamic behavior.”

McCreight, who is pursuing a double major in genetics and evolution, took to her blog, Blag Hag, on Monday, demanding that the world’s women band together in a scientific experiment to test the merits of Sadeghi’s hypothesis.

“Time for a Boobquake,” she wrote. “On Monday, April 26, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. ... I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that's your preferred form of immodesty.”

She continued, “With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I'm sure [Sadeghi] can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn’t rumble.”

Boobquake’s Twitter account quickly snared more tweets than a bird sanctuary, and its Facebook page had almost 50,000 “confirmed guests” as of Thursday afternoon.

“Nice to know that WOMEN are SO powerful that they can make men AND nature quake with a flash of her breasts! LOL!” wrote one visitor to the Boobquake Facebook page.

McCreight’s idea garnered so much attention, including criticism from people who feared she was making light of natural disasters, the Purdue University senior returned to her blog Wednesday to offer a “quick clarification.”

She acknowledged the widespread attention Boobquake had drawn and said a Canadian newspaper and an Irish radio station had requested interviews with her.

“Because I made a boob joke,” she wrote. “I just want to apologize if this comes off as demeaning toward women. To be honest, it started as a silly joke that I hurriedly fired off since I was about to miss the beginning of ‘House.’ I never thought it would get the attention it did. If I would have known, I would have spent more time being careful about my wording.”

She didn’t back off, however, and said she was asking women to don immodest outfits on the same day “for the sake of the experiment.” To allay concerns of unnamed scientists, she promised to collect statistics on the frequency and severity of earthquakes that day.

“And yes, I know I need a larger sample size to make this good science. Maybe I'll include Mardi Gras in my calculations,” she wrote.

She said no woman should feel pressured to participate.

“It’s not supposed to be serious activism that is going to revolutionize women’s rights, but just a bit of fun juvenile humor,” she wrote. “I’m a firm believer that when someone says something so stupid and hateful, serious discourse isn't going to accomplish anything - sometimes light-hearted mockery is worthwhile.”

Back on Boobquake’s Facebook page, McCreight took a moment to be serious and encouraged followers to consider donating money to the American Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts or to the AHA Foundation, an organization that strives to “defend the rights of women in the West against militant Islam.”

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Filed under: Earthquake • Facebook • World
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. jc

    There probably won't be any earthquakes but i bet the number of rapes and pregnancies are going to rise!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lover of Puppies

    I have been to several Biker Rallies and all these years I thought it was the Harleys making the ground shake! :>)

    April 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ol'Greg

    Actually Carl it's about women doing whatever they want with their bodes regardless of what men want. Hell, there are some women men would prefer not to see. They have no obligation to cover up either for this.

    Guess what, you're not in control. I dress modestly when I want to and don't when I don't want to and what men think doesn't matter as I don't give a damn about attracting men anyway.

    You're the one that doesn't get it. Men's sexual desires aren't even relevant to the issue really, only their desire to try and control or imagine they control women. Only their backwards self-important beliefs that they can't control themselves or just are what they are. It's a sorry excuse if there ever was one, and I don't buy it for a minute. If men can control their bladders and bowels they can control their sex urge.

    Whatever you want or don't want... I don't give a damn because it's my body. You don't get to tell me when to cover OR uncover it. So if you want to look, sit back and shut up about it, and if not... look some where else.

    Get that?

    April 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kbjiara

    Girl power!!! hahaha... or "the girls" power? Amazing. I can´t believe that stupid theory... and my respect to Jen McCreight for the movement!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. K

    I thought the space shuttle caused earthquakes...

    April 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jeff

    this just keeps getting better and better. the age old debate of science vs theology
    go science go

    April 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. M

    I had no idea that ta-tas could move the earth...count me in!!! Can't wait to hear what Sadeghi’s reaction will be when he sees that provocatively dressed women have no bearing what-so-ever on the natural occurrences on planet Earth.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Julie

    this is just getting better and better and bull crap too.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gearóid Ó Ceallaigh

    God bless Jen McCreight from a believer whose family has been active in Christianity since about 450 A.D.

    Way to go, Jen!

    April 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. john80

    Cleavage doesn't cause earthquakes, it causes car accidents.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MissDiaz

    Bring em' out, bring em' out! This is fantastic! I will surely put this to the test come Monday. Stay tuned...

    April 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. prasan

    can you please invite Christina Hendricks to your experiment...please please please.....

    April 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tabby Lavalamp

    Silence is better wrote, "The fact is woman in west are been trained as sluts rather than mothers, daughters and sisters... I strongly believe that everyone should respect women. To respect a woman you don't have to give her the freedom to shed her clothes and think they are doing it because they are free, you need to respect them by covering them up and giving them the power to be good mothers, daughters, sisters and wives... Since Western woman are trained to be sluts not to be respectable member of the society, you will find your mothers, daughters, sisters and wives been the candy walking on the road..."

    It appears your "respect" for women doesn't extend to accepting mothers, daughters, and sisters as individual human beings with minds of our own, but something lesser to be trained and dressed by the men in our lives. Something lesser to be "given" power only in roles you find acceptable, roles that define us only in relationship to the men who train us and "cover us up", to be given only the freedom you think we should have.
    I am a proud feminist, and its 12th century attitudes like yours that prove that feminism is as necessary today as it ever was. No man will EVER 'train" me or "cover" me. I am an autonomous human being and will ALWAYS expect to be treated as such.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. EYA

    Although I do not believe what the extremist said, it will be interesting to see how many people will follow the plan that the ATHEIST came up with. By the way...there IS a God...one God.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. G

    I wonder if this will be BROADcast only on pay-per-view. I mean this is science. It should be on Public TV. I love big science experiments. Really big science experiments.

    April 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
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