Monday, April 26, 2010


Perhaps you heard about this piece of juvenile humor that quickly became an international media issue. By dressing immodestly, whatever that means for each individual, people are drawing attention to the oppression of women and responding to the ridiculous claims of Iranian senior cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi that "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes."

I don't think it is anything new to blame promiscuity for social problems, but to blame immodest women for a natural phenomenon crosses way too many lines to be ignored. Blogger Jen McCreight proposed a experiment wherein women would dress immodestly to see if there was an upsurge in tectonic movement. I do not see this as a science experiment, but as a social display that the constant scapegoating of women and in turn the shaming of their choices is unacceptable.

This is not oppressive to women despite the likely ogling that will occur because no woman is being pressured to wear anything she would not already wear, but is making a choice to participate in social critique. While I wish something more radical and structural was being done to combat these ludicrous claims, if a woman is standing up for choice, that is a feminist action. While there are certainly different feminisms and not all women will choose to participate, there should be no "slut-shaming" because that is just as oppressive as blaming women for earthquakes or blaming them for crime.

Women have a right to dress how they choose to without outrageous judgment.

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