Category Archives: raped

[feminist] 60 seconds of advocacy: congo’s coltan is killing civilians for our phones

Amnesty International USA, Take Action! SEC: Companies Must Disclose Conflict Minerals in Their Products
I’m active in the Amnesty International USA group on my university campus, and I’m always looking for ways to be involved on a global level, without forking over money that I don’t have. This link will take you to the Amnesty page which has information about emailing the SEC to be accountable for human rights around the world.

Thanks to wikipedia for its infinite wealth of random information (this is my condensed version):

  • Columbite-tantalite (or coltan, the colloquial African term) is the metal ore from which the element tantalum is extracted. [which is used in products ranging] from hearing aids and pacemakers, to airbags, GPS, ignition systems and anti-lock braking systems in automobiles, through to laptop computers, mobile phones, video game consoles, video cameras and digital cameras. As a result, it is used in jet engine/turbine blades, drill bits, end mills and other tools.
  • Cassiterite is chief ore needed to produce tin, essential for the production of tin cans and solder on the circuit boards of electronic equipment. Tin is also commonly a component of biocides, fungicides and as tetrabutyl tin/tetraoctyl tin, an intermediate in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and high performance paint manufacturing.
  • Wolframite is an important source of the element tungsten. Tungsten is a very dense metal and is frequently used for this property, such as in fishing weights, dart tips and golf club heads. [Also] in metalworking tools, drill bits and milling. Minimal amounts are used in electronic devices, including the vibration function of cell phones and Blackberries.
  • Gold 

Don’t you want to know if your laptop or phone helped to promote armed conflict against civilians? How about the golf clubs you’re going to buy your husband for his birthday, the video game console your kid wants for Christmas, or the new GPS you want. If all companies had to label their products as to where they got their parts, wouldn’t you choose the product that didn’t fund the mass murder and rape of civilian populations?

[fat] a new diet begins

I’ve joined weight watchers this week. The online food diary from last semester helped me figure out what I should and shouldn’t eat, but somehow weight watchers feels more legitimate?
I have metabolic syndrome, meaning that I have elevated cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, a slow metabolism, elevated blood pressure, and a knack for not ever being able to lose weight. The carrots and hummus diet did nothing. The protein water diet did nothing. So now I’m on to the most legitimate thing I can find online. I weighed in this week at a whopping 220.5 pounds. Standing at just 5 feet and 6 inches tall when I bother to stand straight, my BMI tells me that I’m obese, and that my ideal weight is 125-155. That’s 65.5 pounds to lose. And according to my doctor if I don’t lose it, I’ll be diabetic just like my grandmother. I inherited the huge boobs and bad blood, way to go.

My cortisol levels aren’t terrible right now, but stress and anxiety are words that would best describe the inside of my head. My younger sister has borderline personality disorder, my parents are going through a nasty divorce, and things spiraled out of control over four and a half years ago after my sister was drunk, drugged, and raped by a friend. At the age of 14. Chocolate and beer have been great coping mechanisms, but coupled with stress and a predisposition for diabetes, I backed myself into a cave I’m not sure I can find my way out of.
Cortisol levels screwing up means that my fat doesn’t amass on my arms, legs, belly, and boobs in a somewhat proportional manner. My legs are still as skinny and muscular as when I was swimming and weightlifting at 140 pounds. My arms have a little more fat on them than back when I could bench 95 pounds, which is pretty great for a girl. My boobs now look proportional, now that I’ve had three pounds removed at the age of 16 and they’ve grown back.
My belly looks like I’m pregnant. I bought maternity jeans because they’re the only thing that will fit me besides sweatpants. I don’t get to walk around with a sign that says “I have a thyroid problem. I have severe anxiety. I have a predisposition for diabetes.” I get to appear as the fat blob in my university classes, the girl no one can share clothes with. My weight has begun to affect the way that I can sit and move, and as a former dancer it kills me to feel unable to move easily. It feels as though no matter what I do, what I eat, what I don’t eat, my weight is slowly and surely inching up, and spiraling out of control.
Hopefully the new diet works. Right now my goal is just 209.5, 5% of my weight. And my challenge for the week is to drink all eight glasses of water every day.