Girl Grit

(for growing girls and grown women)

This page is about girls and women because I did my
masters thesis research about girls and women.

People of any gender can face stereotypes and glass ceilings.
People of all genders are welcome to use my strategies in their own lives.

Girl grit is the courage to create equality for all girls and women,
including girls and women who create inequality for you.

Girl gumption is the wisdom to admit that men deny equality to
women who see men as inferior.

Girl Grit Observation From Shailene Woodley

“I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us,
because we don’t even seem to respect one another.”

Girl Grit Observation From Jen Oyama Murphy

Female rivalry is also fueled by our own insecurities. When we
lack a belief in our own unique gifts, when we don’t have confidence
in our innate talent, and when we doubt the calling on our lives,
we can become competitive.

Girl Goodwill Attitude From Michelle Obama

“And it’s time that we all stepped back, took a deep breath and
started really listening to one another rather than viewing one
another through the layers of our own judgment, insecurity
and anxiety.”

Girl Goodwill Attitude From Madonna

“As women, we have to start appreciating our worth —  an each other’s worth.”

Girl Goodwill Attitude From Audre Lorde

“I am not free while any woman is unfree,
even when her shackles are very different from my own.”


Girl Growl Backfires

Read Paula Kramer’s Girl Growl Backfire blog posts to help you understand how betraying and sabotaging other women can backfire. Paula even writes about her own girl growl backfire.

You can also end girl growls by giving yourself a Wonder Person headpiece, the mindset you need for inviting loyalty and limiting backlash.

Listen to Paula Kramer’s radio interview where she explains why ending girl growls is essential to inviting loyalty and limiting backlash.

“It Takes Girl Grit To End Girl Growls”

More Insights For Success

For 25 years in the corporate world, Bernadette Boas did what she thought she had to do to be successful. After her corporate career suddenly crashed, Bernadette faced the mortifying truth — she had been a bitch for most of her adult life. To set her life right again, Bernadette acknowledged the ugliness of her behavior and the pain she caused, both to other people and herself. Now Bernadette works to help other women avoid the girl growl backfire of bitchiness. Unfortunately, most corporate bitches do not understand the backfires they are creating for themselves.

“Today, large and small businesses engage me to help them find a solution
to breaking the glass ceiling for the women in their organization. On one
particular call, a man who headed up a large medical practice explained to
me how the two women on his Board of Directors, both eligible to replace the
CEO, were going to be overlooked, because, he stated, “They’re bitches.”
The women were qualified and deserving of the position, but no one would
vote them in because of their attitudes.I  knew exactly what he was talking about.”

Shedding the Corporate Bitch: Shifting Your Bitches to Riches in Life and Business
Bernadette Boas
Page 216

Shedding the Bitch Radio Show

Ball of Fire Leadership


The Four Cultural Themes
Of Betrayal Between Women

Each general theme of betrayal has several judgments that girls and women can use to betray each other. Note that under the Women as Deviants theme, girls and women at times judge other girls and women as deviant just because they are female. This judgment is useful to boys and men who want to keep girls and women unequal, especially when it comes to holding positions of power. If girls and women think other girls and women are too deviant to hold power, why should boys and men share power with girls and women?


1.  Women as Mothers

Ignoring their true vocation as mothers

Failing to properly fulfill their roles as mothers

Being dangerous mothers


2.  Women and Their Appearance

Wrong body size

Wrong clothing

Wrong hair

Wrong age

Wrong behavior

Wrong color


3.  Women as Deviants

Being female

Stepping out of approved roles

Being responsible for any problem men have trouble explaining

Being responsible for men’s thoughts and actions

Being a victim of men’s criminal actions

Being more deviant than deviant men

Moving into male space

Threatening male power or not supporting male power

Expecting equality with higher status women

Expressing confidence in themselves, in their work, in their worth

Expecting other women to live up to and perform up to high standards

Failing to provide what other women feel you owe them, regardless of what that would mean in your life


4.  Teenage Girls as Threats to Society

Needing preparation for roles as proper (male-pleasing) women

Endangering adult males whether proper or not

Arousing inappropriate sexual feelings in men


Real World Examples Illustrating
The Cultural Themes Of Betrayal

Women as mothers
Women and their appearance
Women as deviants

“31 Worst Celeb Mom-Shaming Moments”

Women and their appearance

Comedian Michelle Wolf talked about White House press secretary Sarah Sanders at the 2018 White House correspondents dinner. Wolf said this:

“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. Like she burns facts,
and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she’s born
with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”

The reaction to Wolf’s speech focused on the statement about Sanders’ “smokey eye”. It was a perfect illustration of what happens when anyone talks about a woman’s appearance. The focus becomes her appearance, not her actions or achievements or skills.

Women who insist on betraying other women will do whatever it takes to justify their betrayal.  I tweeted to Michelle Wolf about the women and their appearance cultural theme of betrayal. I received this response from a different woman:

“She mentioned her eye shadow, not her eyes!”

How is eye shadow not about appearance? This tweeter’s girl growl backfire is a reputation for stupidity. This tweeter insists on building glass ceilings for all women, including herself.

I am keeping this tweeter’s identity anonymous because I benefit only when women have reputations for intelligence and competence. I refuse to hurt myself by making this tweeter look bad. I’ve already lost too much because of my own girl growl backfires.

Note that Michelle Wolf was left reminding people that most of her routine was not about Sarah Sanders’ appearance. Wolf took attention away from her own comments by drawing attention to Sanders’ eye shadow. Michelle Wolf still needs to develop girl grit in the way she talks about other women. Wolf invited the backlash.


Fashion magazine Grazia U.K. edited Lupita Nyong’o’s natural hair out of her cover of the magazine.

“Lupita Nyong’o Says Her Natural Hair Is Still ‘Shunned'”
Erica Smith
The Cut
August 7 , 2018


“High school swimmer disqualified over fit of school-issued swimsuit”
Jill Burke
September 10, 2019


“Women At Ernst & Young Instructed On How To Dress, Act Nicely Around Men”
Emily Peck
The Huffington Post
October 21, 2019

Women as Deviants

“A Survivor’s Story”
Bob Meadows, Maureen Harrington
People Magazine
October 4, 2004, pages 109-110

“Sexual harassment used to cost women their careers. That may be changing.”
Jessica Guynn
December 4, 2017

“The Shocking Reason a Top Medical School in Japan Lowered Women’s Exam Scores for Years”
Daniele Selby
Global Citizen
August 3, 2018

Teenage Girls as Threats to Society

“Teenage girl forced to leave school prom after ‘ogling’ dads complained her dress and dancing would give their sons ‘impure thoughts'”
Jessica Jerreat
Daily Mail
May 13, 2014

“She reported her sexual assault. Her high school suspended her for ‘sexual impropriety.'”
Caroline Kitchener
The Lily
August 26, 2019

“Parents, students angered after 80 female students’ yearbook photos are altered to mask cleavage”
Christina Zanowicz
May 25, 2021


Journalist Elizabeth Vargas investigated child brides in the United States for her show, The Untold Story. A 15 or 16 year old married girl wanted to divorce her abusive husband, but…

“…she’s told she’s too young to get divorced. A girl is too young to hire
a lawyer but not too young to get married.”

“The Untold Story”
TV Guide
April 15-28, 2019, page 61


 America’s Next Top Model host Tyra Banks to a contestant on her show:

“Do you really think you can have a CoverGirl contract with a gap in your mouth?” Banks says in the clip, referencing one of the prizes for the season’s winner. “It’s not marketable.”

“Banks has yet to comment on any of the backlash; it’s likely that she will not. But on Wednesday, contestant Danielle Evans, who now goes by Dani, posted a video on her Instagram in which she responded to the conversation surrounding the clip of Tyra confronting her about her gap. In the seven-minute clip, Evans explained that the girls were taken to a dentist, where she was initially asked if she wanted her gap closed and she declined. Later, during the elimination ceremony, Tyra asked her why her gap wasn’t closed.

“I’m like, huh? She’s like, ‘I told you to get your gap closed.’ I’m like, ‘No you didn’t.’ She looks offstage to production … In that moment, I knew what was happening. I knew that I was basically set up and not being told that Tyra wants me to get my gap closed so that it’s good for TV,” Evans explains in the video.”

“How Did We Not Realize What A Nightmare ‘ANTM’ Was?
Zeba Blay
The Huffington Post
May 5, 2020

This 17 year old girl betrayed herself, probably because of all the societal messages around her.

“The message that all of this sends to young girls is that womanhood is a state that consists largely of receiving unsolicited male attention, much of it benign but much of it threatening, exploitative or hostile, and that their ownership over their own bodies, their ability to peacefully occupy public space, and their right to be perceived as the children that they are can all be abridged by the whims of a man’s desire. When the Florida politician Joel Greenberg discovered that one of the women he and Gaetz were allegedly paying for sex was not a woman but a girl at 17 years old, Greenberg, according to reporting by the Daily Beast, told the girl that she was at fault. “She apologized and recognized that by lying about her age, she endangered many people,” Greenberg wrote. This, too, is one of the surest signs that a girl is becoming a woman: suddenly, she finds herself being held responsible for men’s actions.”

“For too many girls, teenage years are a time of unwanted attention from older men”
Moira Donegan
The Guardian
May 9, 2021

Real World Examples
Illustrating Girl Grit

Women as Mother

“How to NOT mom-shame (a handy tutorial)”
Kristina Kuzmic

Women and Their Appearance

“7 Times Jennifer Lawrence Was the Queen of Shutting Down the Body-Shamers”
Shaunna Murphy
MTV News
July 27, 2015

“What To Wear To Look Hot!”
Kristina Kuzmic

“Camila Cabello Pushes Back On Body-Shamers, Tells Fans ‘Cellulite Is Normal'”
Jenna Amatulli
The Huffington Post
August 5, 2019

“The pressure is on to look good. …after Titanic I thought, I’m not going to
not eat, I’m going to say, ‘Listen, I was in the highest-grossing movie ever
made and I’m not a stick.'”
Kate Winslet
Us Magazine
March 27, 2006, page 14.

“I don’t care. I liked my Golden Globes dress! The funniest thing is, I don’t
look that stuff up afterward—and then I got an e-mail from [30 Rock’s]
Judah Friedlander saying, “I can’t believe you were the worst dressed!”
“Funny Mama: Tina Fey Answers Your Questions”
Alexis Chiu
People Magazine
April 19, 2010,

Women as Deviants (More deviant than deviant men)

“Vlogger Nails Why It’s OK To Expose Men Who Harass Women Online”
Christina Marafice
January 22, 2019, pages 105-106


“American’s Real Favorite Pastime”

Paula Kramer is not the only woman trying to end betrayal between women. For the July/August 2011 issue of More magazine, Deborah Copaken Kogan wrote the article, “America’s Real Favorite Pastime? Judging Women.” In her article, Kogan used the phrases, “verbal assaults” and “the endless game of Judge That Woman”. This is a game that all women lose. Kogan laments that abuse of any kind of power turns “a strong woman weak”. Strong women can become weak under the trauma of judgmental assaults from other women. How does making other women weak advance any issue of equality or rights for all women?

Unfortunately, More magazine no longer exists.


Refusing to Betray and Sabotage Women
Who Betray and Sabotage You

Paula worked with one woman for two and a half years. This coworker was a project manager. Close to two  years in, a third woman began working with Paula and the project manager. The three women had schedules that meant they never worked together, but the project manager worked with both Paula and the new employee.

The new employee began telling lies about a number of women in the company, including Paula. Paula did not know about the lies until it was too late. The project manager ignored all the evidence proving that the lies were false. The lies apparently made Paula look like she was out to get the project manager. So the project manager decided to sabotage Paula. She created a situation that made Paula look like she had done something damaging to one of the company’s clients. The project manager’s supervisor ignored all the evidence that the project manager’s lies were physically impossible. The company fired Paula.

Paula wrote a letter to the project manager. Paula told the project manager that she had been trying to think of a way to say thank you for something meaningful the project manager had done for Paula just through conversation. Meaningful as in life changing.

Paula also gave the project manager information that could be useful for two health problems the project manager had. The project manager could look the evidence up on the Internet to discover it was true. One of the health problems was insomnia. Paula had learned that magnesium improves sleep. In one Internet comment about magnesium, a man wrote that his doctor called magnesium a sleeping pill. (See the Serendipitous Success Seeds page for a PDF download about sleeping better.)

Instead of betraying and sabotaging the woman who had betrayed and sabotaged her, Paula  gave the project manager information that could improve her life, including sleeping better for the rest of her life. The ability to sleep well would improve the project manager’s life in other ways. The success of any woman depends on the success of all women. The ability to sleep is an important success that will make the project manager more effective in her life. She just needs to learn that girl goodwill creates more success than girl growls.

* Visit smilessparksuccess.comfor more information about guiding values.


Girl Grit Insights

For women who want equality, the cultural themes of betrayal teach 3 Girl Grit insights:

Girl Grit Insights #1

The words you speak about other women go into other people’s ears
and come out of their mouths.

          Girl Grit Insights #2

If you don’t want negative words about you to come out of other people’s mouths,
don’t speak negative words about women into other people’s ears.

          Girl Grit Insights #3

If you want positive words about you to come out of other people’s mouths,
speak positive words about women into other people’s ears.

Every time women talk about other women, they either break glass ceilings or build glass ceilings. Talk about accomplishments and you break glass ceilings. Talk about the four cultural themes of betrayal and you build glass ceilings. Women who build glass ceilings for other women give men permission to build and maintain glass ceilings for all women. Why should men break glass ceilings when women keep building them?

Pay attention to what the women around you say about other women. Notice how often women build glass ceilings instead of break glass ceilings. Here are examples of Facebook and LinkedIn comments women wrote about other women.


“Keep helping people —. Some entities are still of the lower dimensions.”
January 2, 2016

“I bet you could ask most of them what they are marching for with few
having a factual answer.”
January 20, 2018

“That culture that needs undoing is the crap ——- and her ilk have become.
Shame on you moronic, epic fails of sub-human whatevers.”
January 29, 2018


“She doesn’t even look human in this picture but she sure didn’t act it.”
June 25, 2021

How many men read those comments? How many men repeated those comments? How many men remembered those comments when making decisions about women? We’ll never know.

Women build glass ceilings by ignoring the stories of other women’s lives. Women who build glass ceilings give men permission to ignore the stories of their own lives. Then when men ignore their stories and maintain glass ceilings, these glass ceiling builders complain about the limitations they endure because of glass ceilings they helped build.

See the Speaking Equality page for strategies that create equality.


“Ally or Adversary?
Jen Oyama Murphy
Christianity Today
September 14, 2017

“America’s Real Favorite Pastime? Judging Women.”
Deborah Copaken Kogan
More Magazine
July/August 2011

“Shailene Woodley, Star’s Starlet”
Eliana Dockterman
May 29, 2014

“What women owe one another”
Michelle Obama
More Magazine
July/August 2015, page 144

© Paula M. Kramer, 2012 to the present
All rights reserved.
Last updated October 1, 2021.