Mad World Book Club: Can't Buy My Love

Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

You know how every once in a while someone comes into your life–be it in person or in book, music, film, or some other form–and totally blows you away because they’re saying everything you’ve been thinking, but in a way that is smarter and better than you’ve been thinking it? Like they took what was inside your brain and made it make sense? Jean Kilbourne is one of those people for me. As a young feminist beginning my academic career in media studies, no one hit more nails on more heads for me than she did. I am sure I’m not alone in feeling this way about Ms. Kilbourne and her work, which makes it all the more exciting that her book, Can’t Buy My Love, is our first Mad World Book Club selection! This very super and not at all Oprah-esque Book Club meeting is on July 8th, so that gives you plenty of time to get the book and read it (or at least skim it enough to join in, although I bet once you get your hands on that thing you’ll want to read it cover to cover). The meeting will be both virtual and local, so don’t worry if you can’t make it to Portland to participate. We’ll be meeting in person at Bitch HQ to discuss the book on July 8th, and we’ll have a more structured virtual discussion forum here on the website that week as well. If you’ve read the book already, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section here to get the ball rolling! OH_Logo.jpg

This project was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program. Any views, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Oregon Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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3 Comments Have Been Posted

Holy Crap.

Oh my god. Two minutes into the chapter except, i literally got nauseous. I'm not sure whether to buy it and jump in, or run screaming for my peaceful naivete.

you're not alone!

this book rocked my world when I was 16. first feminist book i ever read.

Funny you mention Oprah.

Funny you mention Oprah. I've been a counselor for alternative high school girls for the past decade and cover a wide range of topics in our groups. I do a lengthy unit on domestic violence and show an Oprah episode on "Teen Dating Violence" each year. Jean Kilbourne is on this show and discusses her book "Can't Buy My Love". The show touches on what girls see in the media and how the "bad boy" image is glamorized. It's a great jumping off point not only to discussing domestic violence, but also to introduce girls to feminism and critical analysis of the media. I believe this is the show in which Jean Kilbourne says, "Love is an action, not a feeling" as she talks to girls in abusive relationships. I think this a brilliant thought, and a great framework for discussing domestic violence. Thanks for promoting this book.

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