Sunday, April 25, 2010

Of boobs and earthquakes

According to an Iranian cleric named 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.”

Quite apart from the fact that this kind of unscientific and utterly nonsensical assertion has as much place in our modern age as a satnav returning the message “here be monsters” should a location more than fifty miles outside of Central London be programmed into it, it has to be said that the only thing that has ever led a young man astray is his own libido. Also, Friday or Saturday night in my home town of Nottingham, it’s cleavage central in virtually any city centre pub or club and to the best of my knowledge there has been precisely one earthquake in Nottingham in recent years … and it was probably nought point something on the Richter scale. Seriously, I had a full glass of water on my bedside table the night it happened and the fucker didn’t even spill.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that there is no scientific correlation between breasts and earthquakes. In fact, earthquakes are caused by seismic waves. And unless seismic waves are caused by legions of young and suddenly corrupted Iranian males feverishly jerking off at the very thought of half-exposed breasts, then the evidence is less in favour of women wrapping themselves in shapeless clothing that only show the eyes, than of Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi being a misogynistic twat who desperately needs to shut the fuck up and stop blaming all the bad stuff on women.

Seriously. Let me say that again. SHUT THE FUCK UP AND STOP BLAMING ALL THE BAD STUFF ON WOMEN. This is the point, ordinarily, in which I’d go on a rant as to why, in the twenty-first century – 92 years after women in the UK got the right to vote, and 43 years after the law against gay men was repealed – blatantly misogynistic and homophobic views are allowed not only to be held and disseminated by certain groups, but are actively protected because “it’s their religion”. If the BNP were a religious organization instead of a political one, would xenophobia and neo-Nazi-ism be acceptable? Would Nick Griffin be allowed to hide behind a veil of cleric-hood? I do believe the answer, to both questions, would be a big fat no.

But said rant is probably not called for. In an entry on her blog that swings a wrecking ball against Sedighi’s nonsensical claim, Jen McCreight* declares that it’s “time for a boobquake”. Her manifesto:

“On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. 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.”

The only drawback with this marvellous response is that is doesn’t give me, as a guy, the opportunity to participate. So I’m taking the de facto route and giving over tomorrow on The Agitation of the Mind to a celebration of cleavage in the movies. I am confident that no earthquake activity in Nottingham will ensue. I implore all my fellow male bloggers to join the cause.

Here’s a picture of Jane Russell in ‘The Outlaw’ to get things started.

*Who describes herself as “a liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist”. I am down with all of the above.

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