'Boobquake' Protests Cleric's Earthquake Claim
Purdue Student's Half-Joking Post Mushrooms Into Web Phenomenon
Last Updated: 1120 days ago
A Purdue University student's attempt to poke fun at an Iranian cleric's contention that promiscuity and immodesty is responsible for earthquakes mushroomed into a cause that went viral, taken on by thousands of women.Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader, ignited controversy last week by linking tremors to the behavior of women. Survey: "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," Iranian media quoted Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi as saying.Jen McCreight, a self-described "liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist trapped in Indiana," and her cause, "Boobquake," is one of the top trending topics worldwide on Twitter and has amassed a Facebook following of about 50,000 people, with hundreds of thousands pledged to help the effort."Seriously, internet, you scare and amaze me sometimes," McCreight quipped on her blog, blaghag.com.Last week, McCreight posted a somewhat tongue-in-cheek message on the blog, saying that she would "wear the most cleavage-showing shirt" she owns on April 26 and asked "female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts," not thinking the post would necessarily be taken literally or take off like it has.
McCreight's post started a groundswell of support and prompted her to take on the cause as a more serious endeavor."It started as a silly joke that I hurriedly fired off," McCreight said in follow-up post on her blog. "I never thought it would get the attention it did."McCreight, an aspiring scientist, said she doesn't think the protest is in any way demeaning to women."I don't want to force people out of their comfort zones, because I believe women have the right to choose how they want to dress," she said. "If I want to show a little cleavage or joke about my boobs, that's my prerogative."A small protest Monday afternoon on the Purdue campus drew about 25 participants in tight, low-cutting attire and plenty of curious onlookers."My original intention was to have sort of a fake science experiment," she said. "When someone makes ridiculous claims
we should be able to test the hypothesis. That's what we're trying to do today."One man showed up with a seismograph on his cell phone, but the earth didn't move. Others admitted they were there to see what the fuss was about."I saw it on Facebook
and I was in town and thought I'd make the trip on up here," said Eric East.