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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Brace yourself for Boobquake 2010

Shimmy, shake, earthquake: Bearing cleavage for a cause.

If you notice women on this campus are a little more promiscuously dressed than usual today (a scary/exciting thought on this scantily-clad campus), there is a legitimate reason beyond our hot weather and hot bodies: It’s for science.

Today is Boobquake, an event started by American University student Jen McCreight in reaction to a Muslim prayer leader’s announcement that promiscuously dressed women cause natural disasters. Quoted by the Iranian media, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi said, “”Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes.”” McCreight proposed on her blog, Blag Hag, that women test out this theory by wearing their most revealing outfits on April 26 to see if seismic activity does, in fact, increase as a result of what women wear. The Facebook event for “”Boobquake 2010″” has more than 171,000 attendees and more than half a million additional Facebook users have been invited to bare all to (maybe) move mountains.

When she first proposed the event, McCreight explain thusly: “”Sedighi claims that not dressing modestly causes earthquakes. If so, we should be able to test this claim scientifically.”” McCreight announced it was “”Time for a Boobquake.””

“”On Monday, April 26th, 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. 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,”” McCreight wrote. If you’re willing to risk tectonic hubris and a couple cat-calls, Boobquake is a great excuse to bear some skin for a cause of greater scope than one’s latest male conquest.

McCreight has since written that she meant the event nearly in jest and never expected the response the event, which has been covered by international news sources like BBC. “”Really, it’s not supposed to be serious activism that is going to revolutionize women’s rights, but just a bit of fun juvenile humor,”” McCreight clarified on April 21. “”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.””

McCreight may claim that the event is a light-hearted attempt to poke fun at the absurdity of the prayer leader’s claims more than a serious criticism of views of women. However, misapprehending the significance of American women is not an umcommon or unserious phenomenon: In a recent column in the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens claimed that scantily-clad American women are the base cause of Islamist terror. Though it was notably more rational than Sedighi’s claim, Stephens makes the same mistake. Stephens casts beautiful women as the culprit for events that they do not, in fact, cause.

In his column “”Lady Gaga Versus Mideast Peace,”” Stephens says that the often-coquettishly-costumed Lady Gaga is as significant a cause of terrorism as are military occupations, a claim that all available evidence reveals categorically false. In regards to Lady Gaga and her cultural fore-mothers, Stephens writes: “”This, then, is the core complaint that the Islamists from Waziristan to Tehran to Gaza have lodged against the West.”” He is, like Sedighi, mistaken in this claim; suicide bombers are motivated far more often by occupations than by cleavage, or by Lady Gaga. Ninety-five percent of female suicide bombers have been motivated by military occupations. Women and their anatomical endowments may cause terrorism by a slightly wider margin than they cause earthquakes, but to use all females as a cause of either is an unsubtle understanding of both women and the events they “”cause.””

Of course, there is no factual basis for the claim that cleavage causes movement of the tectonic plates (movement in other places, however…). Women and how they dress is not a direct cause of anything, from earthquakes to extremist terror. It is a dangerously unsubtle consideration of half the world’s population to claim that women as a collective mass are the direct cause of any phenomenon, be that political or geologic.

A healthy shimmy does not cause the earth to shake, and Boobquake is a fun and flirty way to protest what continues to be a serious issue: the consideration of women as a collective cause. Though the UA’s ladies certainly are off-the-scale beautiful, let’s hope there is no coincidental spike in the Richter scale that could be viewed as a result of today’s, uh, festivities. Women and their bodies cause many problems, but earthquakes are not one of them.

— Anna Swenson is a sophomore majoring in English. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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