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. Lisa

    I have my D's trained on this. LOL

    April 24, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim H

    Yes, it's frightening how many of our fellow Americans seem to side with the medieval, anti-love and joy (and anti-boob) fundamentalist clergy. Maybe that's why I think the biggest threat to the United States at the present moment is Fundamentalism of all kinds.

    April 25, 2010 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jon E

    Religious nonsense exists no matter where you go. As Jim said above, there are a lot of those nutjobs here in States too. The difference is those clerics in Middle East have the power and control to get away with those ridiculous comments whereas here (in a Democratic society) they would have been openly ridiculed and brushed aside by the public (like Pat Robertson's comments about Haiti's quake recently). We should just make sure that these idiotic ideas and people who believe in them never get a chance to enter politics or we end up like those poor souls in the hands of mullahs in Middle East.

    April 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Line M.

    As a breast cancer survivor who still has her (DDD) hooters, count me in! ENOUGH of this anti-life and anti-scientific rhetoric!!!

    April 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Linda

    5 babies later, my breasts aren't likely to drive most men out of control. My usually garb is comfortable – which push-up bras and tight tops are not very! But the only possible response to 'you shouldn't' is 'I damn well will!' If I have to borrow something from my daughters closet, I will attend – with bells on!

    April 25, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Belle Broussard

    Payam...I do believe that men know what's under those clothes, and fantasize just as much with or without a woman being covered up.

    As to your idea of getting to know the real woman...Iranian men are not allowed to..they pick a wife by money...pay for her, have to pay a penalty if they divorce her, and rule her with an iron hand all her life.

    Where's the respect in that?

    April 25, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. helia samadzadeh

    it's by no means a proper subject for discussion and a woman's breasts are not objects for one's attraction.

    April 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • bertolt

      r u sure?

      August 28, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hannah

    Its showing a little cleavage not flashing everyone. Jeez its just some fun to show some narrow minded ignorant idiot up. Duh. Plus, if anyone cares to remember God made us to be naked. We messed that up by eating that fruit. Otherwise, we'd all be naked. I plan to show off my cleavage.

    By the way, no one trained me to be a slut or otherwise. I'm not a dog. I'm a full grown woman and I can dress anyway i choose.

    April 26, 2010 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. nigel

    With humble apologies to all those afflicted by the 2003 earthquake in Iran, but someones gotta say it:

    Wham Bam thank you ma'am

    April 26, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. simpsonsmovieblew

    Um. So the cruel, paranoid goofballs running some countries have declared that their men are so violent and ignorant that all women must be hidden away or an "earthquake" will result.

    Are we suuuure we want to question their judgement?

    April 26, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. barja

    everything is a jock for certain people. rejecting God is also a religion. wether the Iranian president was wrong or wright, why do a civilized educated american women will pay attention to him. I mean Iran always says something. Now id an earhquake takes place in indiana that was gonna happen. regadless of whatv iran is saying, how much the majority of those inhabitants faith will change? makes you think. after all, most christians believe in the virgin birth of jesus. ah jesus was a jock wright. any woman is helping spreading this nonsense should reevaluate her faith!!!

    April 26, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. David Bradley

    If the earth moves, the earth moves...

    April 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Persian one

    Hereby I want to thank Jennifer starting the boobquke.
    Thank you for support fighting these mollahs.

    April 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jill B

    Uh-oh...Earthquake off of Taiwan today...

    April 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. colleen schiefer

    I am sure that a large percentage of American men will approve of prolonging this experiment.

    April 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
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