Today's "Boobquake" Lifts and Separates Political Opinion

Does Cleavage Cause Earthquakes?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Millie Martin of Fairfax, Va. stopped by for Boobquake at Dupont Circle.

    Did the Earth move for you, too? Well, maybe not yet.

    But you never know what the future will bring -- especially today, which is Boobquake Day. Women across the country have vowed to wear revealing shirts to prove the shocking hypothesis that cleavage does not, in fact, produce earthquakes. And that means a few women got a bit revealing today in Dupont Circle during their lunch breaks.

    "I've been told I have a rockin' body, but I never thought it could cause an earthquake," said Millie Martin of Fairfax, Va.

    Think of it as a boob-joke-turned-political-statement.

    Sights and Sounds of Boobquake '10

    [DC] Sights and Sounds of Boobquake '10
    Women gathered in Dupont Circle to protest a radical Islamic leader's claims that scantily clad women cause earthquakes.

    "In the name of science, I offer my boobs," blogger Jen McCreight wrote last week. So began the planning for Boobquake.

    McCreight was inspired by an Iranian prayer leader, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, who was quoted 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."

    She wrote:

    On Monday, April 26, 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... With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake.

    Now the Boobquake Facebook group is 45,839 fans strong, with a D.C.-specific event that happened from 12 to 12:30 p.m. at Dupont Circle today. More than 170 had responded to the Facebook invite -- but only about ten women actually showed up, perhaps due to the dreary, rainy weather. There were probably about four times as many members of the media.

    Diana Tepfer said she was there for her grandchildren, likening the struggle of some Islamic women to the second wave of feminism of the 1970s. "Who knew we'd still have to battle this in another part of the world?" she said.

    Amanda Willis, who wore a low-cut, form-fitting dress, said she'd warned her office ahead of time. "Just so they'd know what was going on, I printed out an article and put it on my desk and showed everybody."

    She said her coworkers were supportive of the cause. "Is this entirely serious? No. This is a little risque for us, but for them, showing an ankle would be. So we show a little more than we normally would so they can [potentially] show a little more than they normally would."

    Participants, passersby and members of the media joked about waiting to feel any earthquakes. "What level on the Richter scale are you expecting?" someone asked.

    But McCreight, the creator of the event, hadn't expected Boobquake to, um, lift and separate. While literally tens of thousands of fans have offered their support, others are complaining that the event itself exploits women.

    McCreight, self-described as "a liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist trapped in Indiana," clarified the purpose of the event later, writing, "I just want to apologize if this comes off as demeaning toward women. To be honest, it started as silly joke that I hurriedly fired off since I was about to miss the beginning of House."

    (Anyway, there's at least one character on that show who seems to participate in Boobquake every single week, so maybe she's way ahead of the game.)

    Once the wondrous holiday of Boobquake has concluded, McCreight will be researching earthquake statistics to see if there actually was an uptick in seismic activity today.

    "Or if an earthquake strikes West Lafayette, Ind., and only kills me, that may be good evidence of God's wrath as well (I'm not too concerned)," she wrote.

    You can follow along throughout the day on Twitter via hashtag #boobquake. Or go out tonight and get -- or give -- an eyeful. It's all in the interest of science. Really.