Friday, April 30, 2010

World Press Distracted by Boobquake while Iran Maneuvers Into Women's Rights Commission

by Julie Jigsawnovich

Blogger Jennifer McCreight, who created Boobquake, must now use her marketing skills, new-found fame, and press contacts to seriously address international women's rights. And organizations seeking to elevate women's rights must acknowledge the power that sexuality has in marketing to the West. The fine lines between freedom of expression, distraction, empowerment, exploitation and oppression may have entered public debate between Islam and the West in new ways thanks (there's some irony here) to McCreight and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Fox New reports:
"NEW YORK — Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged 'immodest.'

"Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.
Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of 'vacancies in subsidiary bodies,' was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was "elected by acclamation," meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states — including the United States."

Meanwhile, the Official facebook page for Boobquake gathered 213,899 confirmed guests (myself among them), and 70,619 guests maybe attending.

In her article for The Daily Beast, Jennifer McCreight, the blogger who initiated Boobquake includes information about the press she received regarding the event. McCreight reports that, "I was interviewed by CNN, BBC, CBC, ABC, FOX, WLFI (our local news affiliate), and that’s just naming a few. Articles about Boobquake appeared on every continent except Antarctica…Boobquake received support and commentary from people like Roger Ebert, Penn Jillette, Phil Plait from the Bad Astronomy blog, “The Bloggess,” Bill Corbett of Mystery Science Theater and Philip DeFranco, the video blogger. But the cherry on top was a skit about Boobquake on the Colbert Report."

With international press frothing over Boobquake, who covered the letter signed by international women's rights, human rights, and anti-violence groups and notable Iranian activists both inside and outside Iran sent to the U.N. ? Well, Radio Zamaneh and reported it. I hope others also reported this letter.

This article posted by S.B. Anderlini, Hadi Ghaemi, and Dokhi Fassihian on expressed the devastating implications of Iran having a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, including:

"First, Iran will claim the win as a major diplomatic victory and indication of an international community that supports and respects it. Second, as a member of the CSW Iran will be well placed to shape the agenda for discussion and the recommendations made. It will bring the same regressive attitudes and cynicism towards women that it enacts in Iran to the global community. No doubt it will have cheerleaders among other nations that prefer to see women as second class citizens.

"Finally, as a CSW member, Iran will be well placed to block the participation of independent women's human rights groups from UN forums, while easing the way for its many counterfeit or ‘government-led non-governmental organizations' (GONGOs) to participate at the UN as if they are legitimate independent civil society and human rights defenders."

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