Vérité Book Club | Your Female-Centric Summer Reading List

Vérité Book Club | Your Female-Centric Summer Reading List, NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED — The Idiot, Elif Batuman, The Fact of a Body, Alexandria Marzano Lesnevich, Difficult women, roxane gay, bad feminist, swimming lesson, claire fuller, Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud, Anne Helen Peterson, Sour Heart, Jenny Zhang, Book club, summer reading list, summer, read, beach read, female writers, female writers of 2017, feminism, celebrity.It may be smack in the middle of summer, but it’s never too late to curl up on a piece of pool furniture and dig into a good book. It’s these warmer months that always fuel one with a new-found wave of motivation. It may be that it marks the mid-point of your year, or there’s a freedom to it that let’s our mind wander, but we want to give you the female-penned reading materials to light that mental fire.

The following are not only a carefully selected six from women who inspire us, but also brand spanking new, so that you’ll be up on your book club convo and ready to impress with your literary findings. Let’s get to it, these books won’t read themselves…

The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Back to a time before Millennials roamed the Earth, and email was just a budding concept, The Idiot plays out a summer scene of virtual pen pals, and finding love in a European landscape. While this sounds exactly like what we’ve been dreaming of all year long, you’ll have to discover the novels main character Selin’s experiences all on your own. Sometimes first love isn’t as free-spirited as it seems.

The Fact of A Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
For our fellow true crime junkies this is the story that will have you cancelling aperol spritz happy hours, and opting for consecutive nights in while you devour your new read. Though it may peek your investigative interests, be warned this is not an easy subject matter. It is however, the beautiful journey of a young junior lawyer, and her digestion of acts of evil, and forgiveness.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
After getting our hands on Gay’s first book of essay Bad Feminist, we submitted ourselves to the category of die hard fans. Her ability to magnify personal, and cultural experiences of women has a talent not to be taken lightly. Difficult Women is no different. The world that Gay unfolds for us allows us to bridge social class, race, and even try on others traumas. It reminds us that the facts of one woman is the facts of all.

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
What’s a steamy summer reading list without the thrilling mystery? Main character Ingrid lays out an investing plot in which she writes her husband letters about her truest feelings, and proceeds to hide them within his extensive book collection, all before disappearing into thin air. Getting Gone Girl Vibes? We think this ones’ even better as its cast sets out years later on a scavenger hunt of sorts to find out what happened to Ingrid. We’re thinking a good one to read aloud over the campfire.

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Women by Anne Helen Peterson
Cue the spotlight on pop culture circa right this minute, as Peterson’s new book will analyze even your own unintentional slut shaming. We are a culture obsessed for both good and bad with the celebrity, and this new-found voice of the brazen woman has caught our attention. The book pin-points what it is we love to hate about women in the limelight, and turns the lens back on us.

Sour Heart: Stories by Jenny Zhang
Just barely hitting shelves umm… 48 hours ago, this freshest of fresh reads is yours to consume. From the eyes and mind of a Chinese immigrant growing up in America, Sour Heart is the story of a girl defining herself on new soil — or the roach infested asphalt of New York City. Summing up an onion-like journey through confusing, comedic, and strengthening moments of womanhood (Zhang holds nothing back and that’s why we love her) — those ones that make us the dynamic individuals become.

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Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee!

Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.
A rolling wave of blonde hair, a vast landscape ahead that looks as if it could engulf her at any moment — suck her back into its center. It doesn’t though, there’s always a strength to her, rooting her feet on the rock she stands atop. Woodworker Aleksandra Zee may be known to you from her dreamy, golden hued virtual postcards, and entrancing works of art that will make you stop in your tracks mid-Instagram scroll. She’s not just her online representation though, as any woman she is thick with dynamics, journeys, insights. Fearlessly, she shares snippets of these with us through her captions — using the social media platform to as a way of saying “Hey! I’m in this with you.” — however today we get very real with the talented woman on her art, heartbreak, & how to deeply love yourself!
 Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.
V: What was your first experience with woodworking? Was it love at first bandsaw?
AZ: My frist experience with woodworking was just a bit in college, making frames and things but nothing much. My first job out of college was at Anthropologie as a Display Artist and so much of it was learn as you go. When I fully started building things I fell in love! Working with wood, being in a shop, I knew it was what I wanted to do and instantly started planning how to make it on my own.
V: What were you doing before you were able to go full time with your creative passions?
AZ: I decided to leave Anthropologie after about three years and knew that for me, having a boss and working/making for someone else was not for me. I needed to make art for myself and put it out there. So I stated small, working as a waitress for just about three years as I built my business. Working days in my humble little shops and nights at a restaurant. I remember the day I quit waiting tables like it was yesterday. I was serving a few girlfriends some margaritas and they asked me why I was still working there, that I was so busy in the shop and didn’t need to keep the side hustle. So I set down their drinks and went up to my manager and told her I would rather be in my studio, and she said yes please go and come back if you ever need to. It felt amazing and scary and crazy and so freeing. It has been a little over three years since that moment and each day has gotten better and more amazing working for myself. It’s hard ass work, and it never stops, but there is nothing else I would rather do.

Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.

V: You are so wonderfully transparent about the journey a woman takes to come into her own via your social media. Did it ever scare you to be so open?
AZ: At first it was scary, the opinions of others would deeply effect me. When the negative came it would hurt and hold me back. It took a while to grow my thick skin and learn to meditated on the fact that others options of me don’t matter, and they never will. I am responsible for my own energy and my own confidence and happiness. None of that belongs to anyone else. Being committed to openness and vulnerability is something that is so important to me and loving myself though it is so important.
V: Let’s talk about self-love — what life experiences have forced you to come face-to-face with who you are as a woman, and who you want to be?
AZ: This is for sure a loaded question. There are so many experiences that have made me face myself with exactly who I am and who I want to continue to grow into. I grew up with a troubled mother, substance abuse consumed her life and outside of the care my father gave I helped raise my younger sister. That forced me to tap into my nurturing and fierce side at a super young age. Later in life I chose a career that is predominantly male and finding my strong and also feminine (which is powerful and not weak) voice. I felt like I was re-writing what it meant to be feminine for myself. That being a woman didn’t make me weaker but stronger, and promoting that strength in a non competitive and graceful way. About two years ago I lost my mother, and that was a huge face-to-face moment with myself. I needed to strip myself of everything I held onto, the thick skin that I let grow a little too thick and re-open myself to a life of pure vulnerability, not holding myself back because of fears, accepting every bit of who I am and the strength there is in being open.

Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.

V: What is the most painful part of your journey in self-study?
AZ: Growing pains happen because you are making new room for the growth that is happening within. A big part of dealing whit what hurts is self acceptance. That you control your happiness, your confidence, your state of mind. Rising above what breaks your heart and accepting that it takes time. Life is full of heartbreak and how you move though the muck is what gives you the information and wisdom to hurdle the next. It hurts to lose a love, lose a family member, have your business take an unexpected turn, but all of those things happen to show the path before you and the choice you have to hit the ground running. So for me, my heartbreaks and pain that I have lived though are maps and footprints in the path I have chosen, I wouldn’t change it, I love where I have been and where it is shaping me to move forward into.Art, Heartbreak, & How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.
V: I think every woman learns to be gentle with themselves in different ways — I do this thing where I literally talk to my body in times of stress or trauma. Is there a way you’ve learned to be gentle with yourself that helps you deal with trials of the everyday?
AZ: I do he same, I speak positivity to my body, acknowledge the air filling my lungs in each deep breath, wiggle my toes and feel my feet planted on the earth holding up my body. Finding completely presence within my mind and physical body, reminds me that I am alive, I need to check in, and care for myself. It is the easiest way to get my mind bad n track, those sick couple minutes of acknowledging yourself.
V: I’m so glad I’m not the only one that does that! How do you see yourself through your own eyes?

AZ: When I look in the mirror I see strength, I see grace and I see growth. I am always changing, and allowing for that growth is acceptance. I meet myself with an open heart.

Art, Heartbreak, a& How To Deeply Love Yourself With Woodworker Aleksandra Zee! NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Aleksandra Zee, Oakland, San Francisco, Artist, Woodworker, Female entrepreneur, Blonde, desert, photography, VSCO, California, Model, Americana, Style, Neutrals, how to love yourself, compassion, strength, feminism, how to have confidence, social media, instagram.

V: If you could send one message to young women everywhere what would it be?

AZ: Be fearlessly yourself. No one is you, YOU are you. There is strength in being a woman that should never hold you back from doing exactly what you want to.
V: Three books that have changed your life?
AZ: The Little Prince, currently Reading The Alchemist and it is so so so beautiful, and Just Kids.
V:  When do you feel most yourself?
AZ: I feel most myself when I am creating or when I am out in nature. Free and open, tapped into my soul.
photo credits, from top to bottom: Nikki Ormerod, Antrom Kury, Gillian Walsworth.

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Femme Feed: How Trump’s Health Care Promises Nothing But Issues For Women.

Femme Feed: How Trump's Health Care Promises Nothing But Issues For Women. -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- Donald Trump, President of the United States, POTUS, Health Care, Affordable Care Act, Trumpcare, Better Care Act, Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, Feminism, Abortion Laws, Birth Control.
Photos and words by Michaela d’Artois.

The last few months have been murky waters that one must wade through trying to decipher which latest political whim may derail their well-being, and which may just be the ripple of fake news. We know it can keep you up at night, especially when it could shake the very core of your health — your reproductive system. At this point it’s practically a riddle that the female population and their families are left to to decipher. The predicament is as such: The Republican Senate looks to eliminate abortion and defund clinics like Planned Parenthood. However the aftermath of this may lead to many women loosing access to free or affordable birth control. Their plan doesn’t seem to be willing to support the care of women’s contraceptive pills. So what options are we left with?

On June 22nd The Senate Budget Committee released The Better Care Act of 2017 Discussion Draft — in this draft it is made clear that it will be easier for employers to make the decision whether to cover birth control or not, or charge a copay in its employees insurance plans. Even further, it is a shared fear that women may be charged more for coverage than their male counterparts, something that Obamacare had specifically eliminated. For women in low income households this could be absolutely detrimental. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimates that 15% of women with low incomes will be left without access to birth control under Trump’s plan.

A study by the IMS Institute in 2013 showed that women saved approximately $270 / per month on birth control under Obamacare. Anyone who has ever had to take the pill knows it is already an expense that women have little way around other than to just pay up, or find an alternative solution. In this predicament women are already looking for other more permanent options such the long debated IUD.Femme Feed: How Trump's Health Care Promises Nothing But Issues For Women. -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- Donald Trump, President of the United States, POTUS, Health Care, Affordable Care Act, Trumpcare, Better Care Act, Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, Feminism, Abortion Laws, Birth Control.

Trump has shared in the past that he does support OTC (over-the-counter) birth control. It may sound divine at first glance, but really means that this will diminish the offering of contraception pills covered by insurance companies, in turn making it very expensive to purchase. In Texas birth control was defunded back in 2013 — since this move the use of contraception has gone down and birth rates have consistently been on the rise. It seems our government refuses to look at the proof and continue to forge forward in order to have their way. Those in support of Trump’s goal to end terminated pregnancies are seriously inthe dark about how this will unfold.

It can’t be ignored that there seems to be a huge disconnect between the older men writing this discussion draft, and the voices of young women who it serves (or very much doesn’t). The reality being that birth control is just not that easy! Finding a brand that aligns perfectly with your body, and doesn’t leave you riddled with side effects can be a true trial and error process — also an expensive one. It is rarely the case that a woman finds the right match the first try, and not having the resources through her insurance to settle on a healthy option can be harmful.

Without the access to Planned Parenthood’s services and an inability to afford the pill women will be forced into terrifying and dangerous measures. This information is important for every woman to be knowledgeable about so that you can be prepared to find the safest option for yourself. We will strive to keep you in the know always, so you don’t have to look far!

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Femme Feed | What You Need to Know About Trump’s Exit From The Paris Climate Agreement.

What You Need to Know About Trump's Exit From The Paris Climate Agreement. NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Obama, Trump, Leonardo DiCaprio, Elon Musk, Bernie Sanders, Paris Agreement, Climate Change, Global Warming, Obama Letter To Trump, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Politics, Feminism, News.A few months back, we can recall a slip of naiveté — a time just before the election of the now President Trump when the world tried to justify the possibility. For a moment many of us thought: maybe Trump is trolling these Republicans, and if elected will funnel efforts in the right direction. The ultimate manipulation, something we knew he was capable of. Our way of trying to make things orderly in our minds. However, the months have passed and Trump’s efforts to dissemble everything Obama built (in an almost obsessive manner) continue. The latest? On Thursday June 1st, Trump announced the United States will exit The Paris Climate Agreement and the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund.

What does this even mean?

Let’s start by what it even is. The Paris Climate Agreement was established in 2015 with strong efforts by former Pres. Obama to join its 195 participating nations in a common goal to combat climate change. Amongst these efforts is the Green Climate Fund which invests into low-emission and climate-resilient developments.
In choosing to remove the U.S. from the fight against global warming Trump only pushes his personal beliefs further, at the expense of our earth — he has publicly denounced the issue many times including calling global warming a “Chinese hoax” and saying “I believe in clean air… I don’t believe in climate change.”
He removes a huge power player in monetary, and organized efforts to forward this agreement. This leaves us in a place where each individual must take clean initiatives into their own hands. Organizations, and businesses able to push progress in funding these programs must now take responsibility where the government has failed.What You Need to Know About Trump's Exit From The Paris Climate Agreement. NOW ON VERITE PUBLISHED --- Obama, Trump, Leonardo DiCaprio, Elon Musk, Bernie Sanders, Paris Agreement, Climate Change, Global Warming, Obama Letter To Trump, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Politics, Feminism, News.

The backlash has already rippled through social media, and even Obama has released an open letter speaking to the detriment this exit will bring. Other leaders such as Justin Trudeau, and Angela Markel have also added their feelings towards the tension-filled move.  Further the new French President has extended an offer to leading American scientists, and  its public to continue to join them in working towards a solution. Trump doesn’t just ruin this for American’s, but for all nations involved.

The kicker?

This exit won’t take full effect until the year 2020 when Trump will be up for re-election. It looks to us as if he’s already planting seeds he hopes will satiate his next campaign’s support from like-minded individuals.

What we can do…

Individually we can help fight back. We’ve all heard it before, but now more than ever it’s time to trade in accessibility for action. The biggest ways to aid are things like taking public transit, biking, or walking instead of driving. Car-pooling (hey, Uber and Lyft) can also help you do your part. Mainly we must not forget: His own ignorance is only going to harm us now. Further, educating ourselves – as always – is the first step to creating change!

 

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FEMME FEED | Ivanka Trump’s New Book Proves She Has No Grasp on Feminism

FEMME FEED | AN INSTALLATION OF “OF THE MOMENT”
STORIES FOR GIRLS IN THE KNOW.

Why Ivanka Trump’s New Book Proves She Has No Grasp on Feminism. -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- Women Who Work: Rewriting The Rules For Success by Ivanka Trump, Book Review, POTUS, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump, Success, Business How To, Feminism.
Words by Michaela d’Artois.

The sh*t I will do in the name of research often turns into great dinner party anecdotes, however I don’t think reading the entirety of Ivanka Trump’s new book Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules of Success will benefit me in such a way. The author, self-hyped business lady extraordinaire, and daughter of the 110 day-old POTUS sets her intentions for your read by making it clear that through her various roles she seeks to “improve the lives of countless women and girls…” by “unleashing their powers”. It doesn’t take long to pick up on what’s actually going on between the two shiny book covers, stuffed with a profusion of quotes borrowed from just about everyone from Mindy Kaling to The Dalai Lama- both of whom I assume have rolled their eyes right from their own heads, if Ivanka bothered to clear the usage with them, at all. In one way she is trying to set the record on her feminist bonafides straight, and in another she’s merely regurgitating the ideas of business how-to guides — literally nothing in this book is an original Ivanka Trump theory or solution to success. The higher issue, however, is not that Ivanka Trump is telling a mass of women that they can ‘have it all’, but is doing so from her own golden tower where nannies, drivers, and “teams” as she calls them, assist in her daily routines — proving only that she is incredibly disconnected even after spending all that time she references on the campaign trail meeting said women across America. Sadder even is that Ivanka is only demeaning the value of the conversation of what a woman should want when wanting to have it all.

Ivanka Trump wants to redefine success with you. She says it’s totally cool if you wear heels and be the boss- go for it, girl! In the 1949 feminist manifesto The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir, the writer delves into the crevasses of femininity as a culturally created concept. We are not born with gender constructs but are bred into them throughout our malleable childhoods, cast in the preset templates of our world. From fertility, to wardrobe what it means to be outwardly female in the eyes of the world is defined far before we are born. In Women Who Work, Ivanka stumbles into every stereotype that is keeping us so entrenched in these constructs. Throughout the text, when she’s not appropriating quotes from civil rights leaders to get her point across she emphasizes the concept that even though we are women we totally can do it too. We can be moms! gasp! and also wear waspy work-wear! She is not freeing us from any constraints put on the woman juggling a work/life balance, or trying to figure out what that might look like if they tried, but endorses the need to match their lipstick to their purse, for 50 fucking chapters.

Why Ivanka Trump’s New Book Proves She Has No Grasp on Feminism. -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- Women Who Work: Rewriting The Rules For Success by Ivanka Trump, Book Review, POTUS, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump, Success, Business How To, Feminism.She further embarasses us as women with our own ideas by — as if subconsciously — attributing all of her career insight to either her husband or father (except of course where she says she was raised by a mom who wore four inch heels to work every day), yet again building up a wall  (too soon?) between genders. She could have very well titled this book Quotes from Pinterest & Other Things I Learned from Misogynists.

“My husband, Jared is by far one of the most positive, proactive, and solution-oriented people I’ve ever met.” and “It was my husband who…”, and then “Jared…loves…” Did you guys know Jared also loves gardening, it’s their new thing. Is anyone else now legitimately curious what Jared’s business book might look like?

Perhaps the most alienating dynamic in this book is when Ms. Trump tries to drive home how important it is for women to find work that fulfills their passions. This is twisted on so many levels as she attempts to position herself as a spokeswoman for the female population America over, regardless of diversities. For someone who is wizardly skilled in public relations strategy it’s embarrassing how lacking she is in ties to the reality of most working moms in The United States. While she spouts droplets of wisdom about how to incorporate your children into your work day, and how having a fervor for your career will lead to success, she seems sincerely oblivious that many mothers can’t even afford child care, let alone have the luxury of nannies, drivers, and “teams” to facilitate and ease her working mom lifestyle. Case in point, “some of my best photos of the kids were taken by my nanny during the day (I’m sure in ten years I’ll convince myself I took them!).” While I don’t doubt that she too feels the motherly guilt of leaving her children each morning (although she may have a strong marketing strategy to prove otherwise, she is only human after all), these nuances are overly simplified because of the privileges she has. It’s unfair for Ms. Trump to hold herself up as the mirror for American women to look into and compare themselves, when she has every resource in the world to thrive, and look good doing it.

As if a study plucked straight from The Second Sex in which De Beauvoir focuses on how the bourgeois woman’s life embodies three elements: wife, mother, and entertainer (remember, this book was written shy of seven decades ago) — Ivanka Trump’s book closes emphasizing on women fulfilling these very same tasks in order to feel success. This warped marketing strategy is transparent, and in conclusion only underlines the fact that Ivanka’s “feminism” is for no other purpose than to inflate the Trump name in the eyes of America.

 

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