When I read the idiotic Islamic claim that female immodesty caused earthquakes, I felt little more than the usual irritation at another drop in the torrent of unscientific religious misogyny; ignoring it as background noise seemed the best use of my limited time. Here's the relevant quote from Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi:
"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes."
Jen "BlagHag" McCreight ("a liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist trapped in Indiana") proposed a great response: follow-up post explained her thinking a bit more in light of the attention Boobquake has attracted:
I don't think the event is completely contrary to feminist ideals...[a]nd I thought "boobquake" just sounded funny. 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. 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.
And to the scientists who are concerned with my methods - don't worry, I fully plan on doing some statistics after the event. I know many earthquakes happen on a daily basis, so we're looking to see if Boobquake significantly increases the number or severity of earthquakes. Or if an earthquake strikes West Lafayette, IN and only kills me, that may be good evidence of God's wrath as well (I'm not too concerned).
Geologists (with or without boobs) know that Iranian earthquakes are actually caused by its network of faults and the ongoing collision between the Eurasian and Arabian tectonic plates which created Iran's Zagros Mountains--and forcing women into burqas won't decrease either the likelihood or severity of earthquakes in the region. Indiana will be comparatively more immodest during Boobquake tomorrow, but I doubt that anyone is overly concerned about the New Madrid Seismic Zone suddenly lurching back to life as a result.
Merchandising Charity fundraising [100% of the profit goes to charity, half to the Red Cross and half to the James Randi Educational Foundation] has, predictably, sprouted to celebrate Boobquake. I love the allusion made by this t-shirt: