Boobquake 2010: Can Cleavage Make a Quake?

By Liz Langley

It used to be a way to describe good sex was that you “felt the earth move.” Now an Iranian leader has given us the idea that even just a little cleavage will do the job literally, prompting a funny protest and a Facebook phenomenon.      

College student Jen McCreight (Blag Hag) thought it would be a good idea to test the words of Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi’s who said during a prayer service that inappropriately dressed women prompt promiscuity which prompts earthquakes. McCreight, a double major in genetics and evolution at Purdue University, put up the blog post quickly (she was in danger of missing “House”) saying it was “time for Boobquake,” an experiment to be conducted on April 26 wherein women should dress immodestly to test the theory. From the Boobquake page on Facebook:

“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. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I’m sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn’t rumble. And if we really get through to him, maybe it’ll be one involving plate tectonics.

This is not the first time a religious leader has cited the wrath of God as the cause of disaster, natural or man-made. In January televangelist Pat Robertson  linked the devastating earthquake in Haiti to a pact with the devil and Jerry Falwell once linked the 9/11 attacks to “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians,” and others he saw as ungodly.

Not all women are feeling bouncy about Boobquake. Salon’s Beth Mann, for example doesn’t consider showing cleavage an especially feminist statement and says it could just be an invitation to body issues for some women.

Points taken, but frankly, if you let the “Show us your tits!” crowd influence your fun you’ll never have any because those boobs are everywhere. Plus, I remember a cartoon from the early 80’s that showed a bookstore clerk telling a patron “This is a feminist bookstore. We don’t have a humor section.” I’m glad there’s room for something goofy and uninhibited in both the feminist and pro-science repertoires of reaction, even if it’s author never intended for it to go this far.

As for body issues, the Boobquake invitation didn’t say this, but I think you could show off whatever you want, physical or intangible, i.e. by writing a blog post or posting a video –artistic exhibitionism would probably work just as well, no?

I’ll be participating in Boobquake because it sounds like fun and I live in Florida where scanty dress is a necessity – and yet somehow not a lot of earthquake activity. We do get hurricanes but we now know what causes them: men who wear those provocative, immodest Speedos on the beach.

(Yeah …I’m hoping some men will try to disprove that with a reactionary Facebook protest wherein they’ll all go around without pants for a day. Anyone want to start “Weinercane”?)

Let us know in our comments below if you plan to participate.

About Liz Langley
Liz Langley is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in about 20 publications – to see more go to

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