Two huge kudos to Jen McCreight

I've been following Jen McCreight's blog for some time now, and she's clearly an intelligent, witty person. So it's not surprising that she thought up "Boobquake" in response to the idiocy of Kazem Sedighi, an Islamic cleric quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying, "Many women who do not dress modestly, lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes." But I don't think anyone could have foreseen how quickly it became viral, and has involved tens of thousands of women across the country and been covered by major news networks.

Some people have spoken up in opposition. There's a counter-movement of sorts called "Brainquake" that's supposed to celebrate women for their intellectual accomplishments, some pissed off feminists, and some notable dissenters in the secular community.

I think this all requires a little perspective. Kazem Sedighi is perpetuating a form of antiquated religious superstition that is rooted in ideas that women's bodies are shameful, and that adultery is their fault when they tempt men with provocative attire. It's anti-intellectual and anti-women. I don't think Jen, or any of the other women participating, are expecting a tsunami of social change. They're just giving the finger to a stupid old man and expressing their freedom to dress as they please – a freedom not afforded to millions of women in Islamic nations.

I remember a scary interview in Richard Dawkins' The Root of all Evil in which a Muslim crackpot accuses Dawkins of (paraphrasing) "dressing women like whores"; Dawkins responds forcefully, "I don't dress women, they dress themselves!" To people in certain parts of the world, the idea of allowing women the freedom to dress as they please is not only a foreign concept but a threatening one, and is but one thread in a tapestry of oppression. So, kudos to Jen for dreaming up a lighthearted way to mock such archaic, stupid and downright inhuman ideologies.


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