Immodest Women to Blame for Earthquake?

An Islamic cleric recently blamed earthquakes on immodest female clothing. He told the media, “Many women who dress inappropriately . . . cause youths to go astray, taint their chastity, and incite extramarital sex in society, which increases earthquakes . . .”

Outraged by this statement, Jennifer McCreight, a 22-year-old student at Purdue University in Indiana, invited women to collectively bare their cleavage yesterday, April 27. She claimed that this would scientifically test the cleric’s theory. McCreight, who calls herself “a liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist,” mockingly encouraged women to “embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts” by dressing immodestly. “With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake.”

With the help of Facebook and Twitter, word of the event travelled like wildfire across the internet, and within 24 hours had recruited tens of thousands of supporters and garnished international media attention. But as the morning of the event dawned, and women around the world began to bare their cleavage, a strong earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale struck southeast of Taiwan.

The earth averages more than a million earthquakes each year. Only about 135 reach the magnitude of the one in Taiwan this morning. The phenomenon of the earthquake coinciding with yesterday’s event could be interpreted either way. The Islamic cleric will no doubt use it as proof that that the seductive behavior of females leads to natural disasters, and that Allah has endorsed the cleric as his spokesman. The cleric will insist that the Islamic law enforcing the Hijab be strictly enforced–that females be forced to cover all parts of their body except hands and face, or be subject to punishment of up to seventy lashes or sixty days imprisonment—or even worse.

On the other end of the spectrum, a scantily clad McCreight predictably brushed off the earthquake as statistically insignificant. Following the disaster she wrote, “If we get many of a similar magnitude in the next 24 hours, then we might start worshipping the power of immodesty.” In any case, since McCreight is an atheist, she denies that God has anything to do with earthquakes, and since she is a feminist, she maintains that women have the right to do whatever they want–even if it does cause a disaster. Women have the right to make the rules. They can dress immodestly and be as seductive and promiscuous as they want–it’s their own business. She said, “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 . . . that’s my prerogative.”

The whole discussion leaves me shaking my head. On the one hand, you have an Islamic male suggesting that immodest women are to blame for natural disasters and for causing men to sin.  On the other, you have a feminist female suggesting that there are no natural consequences of women dressing immodestly and seductively—men are the ones with the problem. The former supports the oppression of women, while the latter supports woman’s unbridled right to be immodest, or even immoral if she so pleases.

It never ceases to amaze me that the assault on the biblical pattern for womanhood comes from multiple angles, and must be fought on many fronts. We must combat the idea that it’s man’s prerogative to define womanhood—that women are somehow inferior, and can be demeaned, degraded, assaulted, or abused. We must also combat the idea that it’s woman’s prerogative to define womanhood—that men are somehow inferior—that men are the oppressors and women are above reproach. Furthermore, we must combat the idea of an egalitarian gender-neutral or gender-fluid type of existence. None of these conform to the biblical pattern.

This whole situation showcases the foolishness of an arrogant man compounded by the foolishness of an arrogant woman . . . and the foolishness of all who follow their lead. According to the Bible, it’s God’s prerogative—not man’s and not woman’s–to define who we are and how we ought to live.

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About the Author

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian

Mary Kassian is an award-winning author, internationally renowned speaker, and a distinguished professor at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She has published several books, Bible studies, and videos. At home in Alberta, Canada, Mary watches lots of sports! Her sons play ice hockey and her husband, Brent, is chaplain for the local professional football team. The Kassians enjoy biking, hiking, snorkeling, music, board games, mountains, campfires, and their family’s black lab, General Beau.

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