Column: Monday’s ‘Boobquake’ all in jest
Written by Kelsey Samuels - Argonaut
Monday, 26 April 2010
Show some skin to prove a point (and feel scandalous)
Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, the acting Friday prayer leader of Tehran, Iran, may have been proven correct Monday when a 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook Taiwan.
“Boobquake” began as a joke event on Facebook created by Purdue student Jennifer McCreight in response to the Iranian cleric’s statements about modesty. Participants were encouraged to show their cleavage and/or some leg in an effort to prove breasts do not cause natural disasters, contrary to this statement: “Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Sedighi said to Iranian media.
His explanation for the natural disaster followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement that a quake is certain to hit Tehran, in which he urged inhabitants to relocate.
So did his prediction come true? Almost.
Taiwan and Iran are a China’s length away, but Sedighi and Ahmadinejad may have been onto something.
The importance of “Boobquake” is that women feel free to shake what their mamas gave ‘em. It’s a day, rooted in jest, to encourage women to step out of the cultural norm and show a little skin, whatever it may be — maybe a particularly conservative woman wearing a pair of pants instead of a full-length skirt, or another rebelled by “forgetting” to wear the lace-trimmed tank top under a low-cut top.
“Boobquake” creator McCreight said on the Facebook event Web site she hates the idea that “big boobs are always better,” and that’s not the point of “Boobquake.” She also said it’s not meant to be serious activism, but juvenile humor and light-hearted mockery.
This will not change the cleric’s mind, and most participants had to know that. Sedighi will probably be surprised his off-hand comment got so much attention, especially since there was a good chance he did not mean for it to be taken literally.
While some women of the Palouse were scantily clad, most were business as usual. There were, however, a few micro-mini skirts, but that’s nearly commonplace for a warmer day in spring.
As of press time, there were no earthquakes reported on the Palouse. Better luck next time.
Regardless, he said it, and it’s the kind of thing college kids enjoy protesting in one way or another, and a special day to get a few double-takes and feel a little scandalous.
It’s the modern-day equivalent of burning bras, and boy, it’s just as fun.