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modesty_police.jpgEveryone wants to blame someone or something for everything that goes wrong. Mother Nature does her thing and we look for a scapegoat to make ourselves feel better, because random destruction is scary. A Muslim cleric in Iran put the blame for recent earthquakes squarely on women.

"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader.

There's no doubt that a provocatively-dressed woman can make the earth move, but that usually happens to only one guy at a time. You can't put the destruction in Haiti, Chile, and the rest of the world on our shoulders. First off, we are NOT experiencing a rash of earthquakes. The frequency of higher magnitude tremors has actually decreased over the past few years.

Second, we have been dressing in a manner that would twirl Sedighi's hair for centuries, and earthquakes occurred before we existed and still do in various parts of the earth where modesty is measured with different sticks. So to speak. Jen McCreight came up with the idea of performing a scientific experiment to test Sedighi's assertion.

Keep reading to see how YOU can participate.

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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.

McCreight meant the post as a joke. However, the idea had legs and took off immediately. How could it not? This was an idea a lot of bloggers could get behind. Before you could say "boobs", there was a Facebook event page and a Twitter feed connecting those who plan to participate in Boob Quake 2010. There are even local organizers. McCreight dealt with the juggernaut she began and clarified her intentions.

I don't think the event is completely contrary to feminist ideals. I'm asking women to wear their most "immodest" outfit that they already would wear, but to coordinate it all on the same day for the sake of the experiment. Heck, just showing an ankle would be considered immodest by some people. I don't want to force people out of their comfort zones, because I believe women have the right to choose how they want to dress. Please don't pressure women to participate if they don't want to. If men ogle, that's the fault of the men, not me for dressing how I like. If I want to a show a little cleavage or joke about my boobs, that's my prerogative.

Fair enough. McCreight is planning to observe worldwide stats on seismic activity on Monday to see if the 122,717 confirmed participants (so far) and 35,597 who say maybe (a bit less if you subtract the males) have any effect on the world around them. OK, have any effect on seismic activity.

Sure, those numbers will be much higher by Monday, and there's no reason you have to be a Facebook member, or even an internet user, to participate. That only helps with the statistics. I'm sure more woman have been recruited through CNN, or syndicated radio, or by newspaper.

So how about it, ladies? Monday is the day to dress the most provocatively you normally would for any event, and see whether we will cause the earth to shake or debunk the myth that our fashions do anything at all to Mother Nature. It's all for science!

What an earthquake Monday might look like.

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