Be Fierce

Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back


By Gretchen Carlson

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Now updated with a new chapter! Includes the #metoo movement and the cultural revolution.

A groundbreaking manifesto from journalist Gretchen Carlson about how women can protect themselves from sexual harassment in the workplace and reclaim their power against abuse or injustice.

In BE FIERCE, Gretchen shares her own experiences, as well as powerful and moving stories from women in many different careers and fields who decided they too weren’t ready to shut up and sit down. Gretchen became a voice for the voiceless.

In this revealing and timely book, Gretchen shares her views on what women can do to empower and protect themselves in the workplace or on a college campus, what to say when someone makes suggestive remarks, how an employer’s Human Resources department may not always be your friend, and how forced arbitration clauses in work contracts often serve to protect companies rather than employees. Her groundbreaking message encourages women to stand up and speak up in every aspect of their lives.

Gretchen also discusses why this fight will require both women and men working together to ensure that our daughters and sons will have a brighter future.

BE FIERCE is a cultural movement and a motivating testament to what we can accomplish if we collectively decide to become warriors in the path for a better future.
The time is now. Take back your life, your career, and your dignity.

Twitter: @GretchenCarlson
Facebook: @GretchenCarlson
Instagram: @therealgretchencarlson

A portion of each book sale will go towards Gretchen’s Gift of Courage fund.

“Using your voice and speaking your truth is a step toward freedom. Be a ‘Fierce’ force because that’s what it takes to change the world.”
Maria Shriver, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement



This book contains information obtained from many women—some very well known, others just private citizens trying to live their lives and do their jobs. Many women contacted me to share their stories, and I interviewed countless women concerning their experiences in the workplace. I have included information obtained from many of these conversations. To preserve the privacy and anonymity of the persons involved, I have often changed the names and certain other information (such as occupations, job titles, or the locations where the alleged harassment occurred) that could be used to identify specific individuals.

As is often the case when relating events of the past, the information recounted herein is based largely on the recollections of the interviewees. The recounting of these stories, often in the women’s own words, serves to show just how pervasive sexual harassment has been (and continues to be), and to underscore the enormous toll it is taking on American businesses and workers.

This book is intended to provide general information and inspiration to its readers. Neither the author nor the publisher is rendering legal or other professional advice. If you believe that your rights have been or are being violated, you should consult with an employment attorney, because laws vary depending on where you live or work.


Are You Done Taking Sh*t?

Go back to Minnesota & Shut the Hell Up!!

Gretchen needs to let it go. She brought it on herself!

So what if someone said a couple things to you? Grow up, move on and stop whining.

Gretchen, your show sucked! You are a dumb old never-has-been!

Hope nobody hires you, Skank!

Gold digger MILF!

I wouldn’t stand with you or next to a disgraceful person like you!! I hope people will walk away & let you suffer, Bitch!!

Welcome to my daily Twitter feed. Imagine having to swallow this kind of hate with your morning coffee! After many years on TV, I wasn’t a stranger to mean tweets. I used to laugh at them, even read them out loud on the air. But now the meanness was like being stabbed with a dagger, and it seemed to have no purpose except to hurt me. It didn’t surprise me that one of these peoples’ favorite weapons was to attack my age or looks: “Minimally talented, over the hill,” crowed one critic. “Old and washed up,” another. Many tweets were typical of what other women who’ve experienced harassment say they hear all the time: “You’re too ugly to be sexually harassed… you wish you looked that good!” “Desperate old cow.”

Hmm… so only hot young babes get sexually harassed? Only fame-seeking, money-grubbing old hags complain? In the convoluted logic of the Twitterverse, my experience couldn’t be valid because I wasn’t young enough or pretty enough. And even if I were, my experience couldn’t be valid because I opened my mouth and spoke up for myself, making me a bitch. I resisted the impulse to reply to the male tweeters: “Does your mother, wife, or sister know you’re talking trash to a woman on social media?” I didn’t know what I would say to the female tweeters—there were plenty of those too.

One morning, as I was hunched over my iPad scrolling through a fresh batch of vitriol, I glanced up and saw my thirteen-year-old daughter, Kaia, watching me.

“Mom, you have a funny look on your face,” she said. “What are you reading?”

“It’s nothing, honey.” I smiled, but Kaia’s radar was finely attuned to my moods. She was, unfortunately, very aware of what was going on in her mom’s life. She knew that it wasn’t nothing.

Our children really see us. They hear us. And when I took on this fight, I had my children and their future foremost in my mind.

Many people have heard about the sexual harassment case I filed against my former boss. That lawsuit was settled, and there are things I can’t discuss about it. That’s the nature of a settlement. But when it was all over, I decided I wasn’t ready to shut up and sit down.

Labor Day 2016 became a marker in my life—not just the first day of school for my kids, but a change in the way I’d done things for the last twenty-five years.

Every year on the day after Labor Day, my husband, Casey, and I have made sure that one or both of us drives the kids to school and drops them off. (They’re now at ages where they don’t want us to come in!) This tradition has also involved Casey and me then driving into the city together to go to work. But 2016 was, of course, different for me. As we made our way into the city, I was actually going in to get a haircut. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t going to work to report the news.

Instead—on this day—I was the news.

We got into the city an hour before my appointment, so Casey dropped me off and went on his way. With an hour to kill, I walked into a nearby nail salon to get a pedicure. There I was, all by myself in the salon.

During that hour, the news about me started trickling out; first one report, and then dozens and dozens more. I began to read about myself on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram as if I were having an out-of-body experience. I sat there with tears streaming down my face. The nice lady helping me out was probably wondering what the heck was wrong with me. But she didn’t ask, and I didn’t tell.

My life had become surreal. But then—as if nothing was happening—I still needed to get my hair cut. Once in the salon, the young woman sitting next to me at the hair washing basin—a total stranger—looked at me and simply said two words, “Thank you.” I felt more tears welling up again. My eyes burned. It wasn’t like I was sad. I’m not sure I can even describe the emotion. I just knew my life would never be the same. At that moment I knew the issue of sexual harassment was bigger than just my story. So I decided I would write a new, powerful, real story, for me and for so many others.

My decision to take on the issue of harassment didn’t happen instantly. It took me a while to get my head straight. At first, encounters with friends and colleagues were painful and awkward. People didn’t know what to say to me. I didn’t hear from some people I’d expected to hear from. On the other hand, I received supportive letters and emails from people I hadn’t heard from in decades.

Those were difficult days as I tried to regain a sense of equilibrium and purpose. I have always been a forward-looking person. When I was a child, participating in violin competitions, my beloved grandfather always told me that I needed failure in order to really appreciate success. He wanted me to see that the best of life wasn’t found only in winning, but also in picking yourself back up and thriving after times of disappointment. So, when my job at Fox ended, I immediately began thinking about what I could do next.

I didn’t have to wait long for an answer. Something amazing started to happen: the floodgates opened. Thousands of emails, texts, calls, and social media comments poured in, as women shared their stories, their pain, and their hopes. The messages were intimate, the stories heartbreaking. Time and again, women wrote about how they had been holding it all in, but now felt they could talk to me.

Late into the night, I sat at my computer and immersed myself in the lives of women I had never met, but now felt I knew more intimately than my neighbors. Some of my own misconceptions were shattered. It’s easy to assume that sexual harassment flourishes in certain industries. There is the “Mad Men” culture of advertising. There is the sometimes female-unfriendly culture of sports. There are industries, such as fashion, modeling, and beauty pageants, where some degree of objectification is commonplace.

But my mailbox showed a more pervasive reality. These women belonged to virtually every profession and walk of life: police officers, teachers, oil rig operators, musicians, Wall Street bankers, saleswomen, sports executives, army officers, journalists, accountants, engineers, waitresses, TV broadcasters, soldiers, tech workers, lawyers, secretaries, and corporate executives.

The truth is much more startling and complex than I had realized. You can be sexually harassed if you’re pretty or not pretty, if you’re strong or not strong, if you’re in advertising or trucking, or are a college student. This book isn’t just about women in the workplace being harassed and standing up to power. It’s about our teenagers too, who go off to college full of hopes and dreams and far too often have them stripped away in one unexpected act of harassment or violence. It’s so important to set the right mind-set early on in our young girls (and boys), to prepare them and let them know they have a voice, and, most important, to teach them how to use it. From young to middle age, girls to boys, women to men—we all need to learn how to be fierce.

Remember this: Harassment isn’t something you ask for. You don’t have to smile or “bring it on.” You don’t have to say a word. You can be dressed in a short skirt or army fatigues or hospital scrubs. And in spite of the lingering doubt and guilt that most women feel, it’s not about something you did. It’s about what somebody else did to you.

Years and even decades after the fact, many of the women who reached out to me were still shell-shocked and disbelieving. Such as Carmen, a flight attendant supervisor whose boss often sat in meetings detailing the porn he’d watched the night before while drawing penises on his notepad. When Carmen finally got up the nerve to complain to human resources, she was called “crazy” and fired. In spite of her sterling record, she was never able to find work in the industry again. No one stood up for her. “It was like whiplash,” she said. “One minute I was happily employed in a career I loved. The next minute, I was out.”

Silence is the most powerful weapon of the harasser. When women are not allowed or enabled to give voice to their experiences, they disappear. “When I was fired, I stopped existing,” one woman told me. “Life went on at my company as if I’d never been there.”

I heard variations of this story many times, and I’ve seen how haunted these women are, how often they play back the events in their minds and wonder if they did something wrong or could have acted differently. Even a young enlisted woman soldier who was raped in her trailer by two men who broke in at night remembers her only thought being, “Am I going to get in trouble?”

Their experiences are shocking—they’re worse than anything you can imagine. But the words also resonate. Like the mean tweets on my phone every day, they have the power to wound, destroy, and silence women. Whoever said, “words can never hurt you” didn’t hear these words: the broker whose coworkers called her such vulgar names I can’t print them here; the popular executive who became an “agitator” when she reported a colleague to Human Resources; the woman whose harasser defended himself by saying, “You think I’d hit that?”; the young girl whose nickname was “Bat Shit”—for “bat shit crazy.”

Ugly stuff.

Repeatedly in my conversations with women, they used the term “old boys’ club” to describe their work environments. It’s a notion I thought was retired long ago. But no: There’s the old boys’ club in banking, the old boys’ club in movie production, the old boys’ club in retail, the old boys’ club in hospital administration. It exists in Congress, in the military, in scientific research, in the restaurant industry, and in law enforcement—the references are across the board. I started to wait for it when I conducted interviews—the moment when the term “old boys’ club” would show up. It happened almost every time.

We all know that it’s a “man’s world” in certain work environments, but the culture exists even in industries that are traditionally geared to women and families, such as retail, nursing, and food services. A 2016 study published in the Harvard Business Review noted the insidious nature of a male-dominated work culture, saying, “Some men use the subjugation of women as a way to relate to other men and prove their masculinity, while reinforcing women’s lower status. At the same time, women who want to be part of the high-status group may play along with sexual harassment because they do not want to be further alienated from the high-status group (men). Women may even start to adopt the same behaviors as men to fit in and be ‘one of the guys.’ This creates an irony that women may be ignoring or downplaying sexual harassment to gain access to the ‘boys’ club’ while men are using sexual harassment to keep women out.”

This analysis reveals the circular trap in which women often find themselves when they try to thrive in male-dominated environments. Changing the culture of harassment is not a simple choice between being strong and being weak, or getting along versus standing up for yourself. Time and again, I have been blown away by the courage many women express in demanding to be heard and fighting for respect in their workplaces. Against unbelievable odds—shame, retaliation, even lost jobs and careers—women are refusing to take it anymore. They are on the front lines of a long war, and there’s no way to sugarcoat it.

As any lawyer or adviser who deals with these issues will tell you, the personal and professional cost is often very high. I’ve heard stories about women being fired for complaining, being pushed out when they rejected their boss’s advances, and being sidelined for not playing along with coarse and inappropriate behaviors. And most of them have had to walk away from their careers. The attorney Lisa Bloom, who has represented women for over thirty years, put it to me bluntly: “Of all the women I know who have publicly complained, not one is working in her chosen career today.” Think about it: that is a terrifying reality. “Unfortunately, there’s a stigma to complaining,” Bloom said. “These women are labeled as troublemakers. It sticks.”

After my experience with harassment, as the weeks went on, I learned that every woman has a story. At least, I never met one who didn’t. My own story, which was widely covered in the media, opened up a conversation in homes and workplaces across America. People came up to me in restaurants and airport lounges, plopped right down and started talking. My own friends and colleagues told me things they’d never revealed before. Some opened up to their husbands for the first time about past experiences.

A friend who had been married for twenty years described walking the dogs with her husband one evening, and blurting out the story of how she’d been grabbed and almost raped by a boss early in her career. Her husband was stunned. “Why did you never tell me about this before?” he asked. “I had no idea.” She told him that she’d considered it a blot on her character, and didn’t want him to know about it.

Another friend confessed that she had “forgotten” or blocked out an experience that had happened decades earlier, when she was just starting her career in sales. Her manager had backed her up against a wall in a conference room one day and kissed her. She’d pushed him off and walked away. She never even considered reporting it. “I thought it went with the territory,” she said. In fact, she was proud of herself for handling the incident so coolly and unemotionally.

After I left Fox, I was interviewed by ABC’s Amy Robach for a one-hour 20/20 special. Accustomed to being the one asking the questions, I turned the tables and asked Amy if she had ever experienced sexual harassment. She was visibly jarred; the emotion of a memory flashed across her face. “Yes, I have,” she admitted. The look she gave me suggested that she had never talked about it before. Hers and other women’s stories are now demanding to be told.

Statistics support anecdotal evidence about the low rate of reporting, even today. According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 70 percent of women who experience sexual harassment at their jobs don’t report it for fear it will cause negative repercussions, both personally and professionally. The most recent data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that there are more than 43,000 workplace rapes and sexual assaults a year. But women’s advocates say that this number vastly underreports such crimes, because many victims are afraid to speak up or are discouraged from coming forward.

You cannot experience sexual harassment without suffering psychological wounds. This isn’t just my opinion. I know, because I too have experienced and suffered from it. Multiple research studies have shown serious effects that include depression, PTSD, sleep disorders, and in the worst cases, suicide attempts. The hardest hit are young women, whose confidence and self-esteem are especially fragile. One study showed that for a teenage girl, a single incident of sexual harassment could have repercussions well into her thirties.

It’s not just the harassment itself that has psychological consequences. The stress of keeping such a bitter secret is tremendous. Like the friend I described earlier, many women I’ve spoken with never even told their husbands. After I appeared on 20/20, a woman wrote me, saying, “I was in the US Air Force from 1977 to 1984. I was drugged and raped by three military police officers. This has plagued my life. I am now a 100 percent disabled veteran with PTSD. It has been so hard. I can’t forget what happened.” So, nearly forty years after the incident, this woman was still suffering from an assault that ruined her life.

A daytime TV star was fired after persistent harassment halted her career at the age of thirty-five. She still feels the shock twenty years later. “I became reclusive. I never got my speed back,” she told me. “I was no longer the smart, bubbly person people saw on TV. I was damaged.”

Still another woman spoke of grieving for her lost youth—the seven years she spent during her twenties taking a sexual harassment case to court. “All my friends were getting married, planning lives,” she told me. “I was in court. Normal life was taken from me.”

Sexual harassment is traumatic. This is confirmed by studies measuring the psychological effects of harassment, whether it is verbal or physical. A 2014 study from the University of Mary Washington found what it called “insidious trauma”—small traumas happening every day—summarizing, “Women become caught in a Catch-22; if they speak out about how they are treated, they are likely to be labeled ‘overly sensitive,’ and if they say nothing, they have to live with these experiences without the chance of social support or vindication. The ambiguous and subtle nature of sexual objectification, particularly the experience of body evaluation, can make this experience of discrimination difficult to acknowledge, discuss, and cope with.”

In my home office, I began to print out the stories of women who contacted me. Soon they formed piles on my desk. I didn’t know what I would do with them, or what I could do for them, but the voices filled my mind and my dreams. They took me out of my own problems, and set me squarely at the center of a cultural battle. One day, surrounded by the evidence of a crisis that cried out to be addressed, I decided to do something. It was a familiar feeling. My life has always worked in mysterious ways, and it has gone in different directions from what I thought I was going to do. Now, it seemed, I was about to dive into something new once again. I decided to start a movement—a preposterously bold idea. But if not me, who would pick up this cause? Who would speak up for these women and give them a voice?

I began to reach out to the women who wrote to me. They were pretty surprised to hear from me directly, never having expected their emails or Facebook posts to be read or responded to. That had always been their experience—a complete absence of response, and the overwhelming sense that no one cared. When they wrote to me, they were dropping their stories into a deep wishing well, with no expectation that they would ever be received.

On the phone and in person, their testimony was long, painful, and often tearful. It was very emotional for me too, because I was still going through my own struggles. I forced myself to take breaks, walk my dog, close my eyes, and breathe. I needed to be sharp and focused—to really listen. I’ve been interviewing wounded, traumatized people for twenty-five years, but I’ve never felt the way I did when speaking with these women. Theirs were preventable tragedies, deliberately perpetrated in our culture. I couldn’t stand the thought that a new generation of girls, including my daughter, might have to face similar indignities.

But I also heard evidence of plenty of grit, and I was proud of their courage and determination. I began to see that together, we could do something about it and create a meaningful fight for women’s rights in our time. I had made a personal choice that I wasn’t going to take it anymore—but that wasn’t the end of the story.

Being bold exacts a price of its own, as evidenced by those nasty tweets. After I left Fox and launched my public movement, I learned that shame is a powerful force. There’s no logic to it, no fairness, and no explanation. The standard notions of right and wrong don’t apply. Here’s the way it works: You are shamed… therefore you are ashamed.

The shame extends beyond harassment to assault and rape, and is experienced even by women who are powerful. It wasn’t until 2017 that Jane Fonda finally summoned the courage to talk about her experience. In an interview with The Edit magazine, she said, “To show you the extent to which a patriarchy takes a toll on females; I’ve been raped, I’ve been sexually abused as a child, and I’ve been fired because I wouldn’t sleep with my boss, and I always thought it was my fault; that I didn’t do or say the right thing.” That’s Jane Fonda! The last person you’d think would be full of shame. I’m sure it cost her a lot emotionally to finally speak out at the age of seventy-nine.

Beth, who was an executive in a large health services company, admitted to me that she could never bring herself to lodge a complaint over sexual harassment, although she experienced it from both bosses and coworkers. It felt shameful to her. Only when she learned that she was being paid $25,000 less a year than her male peers did she speak up. It felt safer to her to complain about money. “I was too scared to be labeled when the discrimination was sexual in nature,” she confessed. “I am now sorry for that. If I (and others) had the courage back in the 1990s, maybe it wouldn’t be happening to other women today.”

But now there’s a loud rumbling in the culture—a sense that it’s time to stand up and turn the floodlights on the injustice women often suffer by being objectified, made to feel like victims, forced to settle for less, and expected to tolerate being ignored, unheard, and marginalized. Together, we can end the harassment, if we decide we’re not going to take it anymore.

This book is a rallying cry for all women who want to take control of their lives and own their personal power. It’s a warning that we will not be underestimated, intimidated, or held back. We will not be silenced by the ways of the establishment or power. We will tell the truth. We will be fierce.


Speaking the Unspeakable

I was living moment by moment in the days immediately after my story broke, not knowing exactly what might happen next. I was all by myself those first few days, as my husband and children were in California. I had planned to go with them, but now I couldn’t. It was good that my kids were away. I didn’t want them to see the reporters parking their cars outside our house, or hear the phone ringing at all hours of the night. I sat there alone, enduring it. I cried and prayed and thought. I did a lot of thinking. I wondered what would happen to me next. This was the hardest thing I had ever done. And it was still Wednesday. I was sleepless for the first forty-eight hours.

I’d promised Casey I would somehow get to San Francisco that Friday to accompany him to a wedding. So, exhausted, I packed a bag and made my way to Newark Airport. For the record, I’m an incredibly organized person, but on this day, I was out of sorts. When I got to the airport, my confirmation number didn’t work, which was odd. I started to panic when the United Airlines representative told me that I’d somehow purchased a ticket for the wrong day, and I wasn’t booked on the flight. And, oh, by the way, every flight to San Francisco was sold out that day. But I had to get there.

I was desperate. I quickly looked on my phone for a flight on any other airline going to California. I bought a new ticket on my phone and raced to another terminal, which meant getting a cab. Once in the cab, I realized I had inadvertently purchased a ticket for a flight that was leaving much later in the day. Ugh. Now I needed to get on the phone with a real person to try to get on an earlier flight, but the representative told me it was completely sold out. I asked—begged—if there was any way to get a seat. She put me on hold for what seemed like an eternity, and by the time she came back, I was actually at the front desk, gasping for breath. Just as I approached, she came back on and said, “I got you on the flight.” Relief!

As I made my way through the security line, the TSA agent, seeing me in a sweat, asked how my day had been going. “I’ve had better days,” I said. He looked down at my license and then at my face, and then back down again, and kindly replied, “Oh, Ms. Carlson, I totally understand. Have a better week ahead!”

But the most emotional moment came when I got to the gate. When the flight attendant called for my row to board, I handed her my ticket and waited for her to scan it. She paused and looked up at me with tears in her eyes, took my hand, and said, “For all of us women—thank you.” My eyes burned as I felt my own tears welling up. They still do today when I think of her. I said, “Thank you so much for saying that,” to which she responded, “No, thank you!”

I have had similar encounters on other flights since that day. Complete strangers have felt a connection and have had the compassion and decency to say kind words to me. To all of you out there, I want you to know that your words changed my world, lifted my spirits, and contributed to this book.

I thought I was alone, but I was not. During my darkest days, an army of people—everyday people—was marching with me, giving me the power and courage to wake up each morning and approach my new life with optimism and hope.


  • "Using your voice and speaking your truth is a step toward freedom. Be a 'Fierce' force because that's what it takes to change the world."—Maria Shriver, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and founder of The Women's Alzheimer's Movement
  • "Gretchen Carlson's very brave and public stand against sexual harassment gave countless women the courage to fight back and is teaching our daughters (and sons) three very important words: it's not okay."—Katie Couric, award-winning journalist and cancer advocate
  • "Gretchen Carlson is not only FIERCE but brave as she pours sunlight on this scourge that hides in plain sight. Sexual harassment is an issue that all of us should be concerned about not just women. I encourage every man to read this book." —Larry Wilmore, Emmy Award-winning producer, actor, comedian, writer
  • "Gretchen's experiences in the workplace will be all too familiar to women of all professions and walks of life-many of whom she's enlisted to help tell their own stories of resilience, courage, and justice in the face of sexual harassment and assault. Her book should serve as a guide for both women and men, for interns and executives alike, on confronting and preventing sexual harassment, and finding the strength to handle the most impossible of situations with ferocity and grace."—U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill
  • "This book is a must read for any woman who has ever felt victimized or harassed and for any man who knows it's his duty to do the right thing. Gretchen is a warrior and an inspiration." —Paul Feig, writer, producer, director of Bridesmaids, Spy, Ghostbusters, and The Heat
  • "Gretchen Carlson's landmark sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes shattered the culture of silence for women at Fox News and forced Ailes to resign. Now, in this gripping new book, she shares stories from women all across the country and exposes the epidemic of sexual harassment in the workplace -- and how women can fight to end it."—Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair Special Correspondent and author of the New York Times bestseller The Loudest Voice in the Room
  • "Gretchen Carlson is a fighter through and through and she is using her voice to put herself on the right side of history on this issue."—Billie Jean King, founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative
  • "BE FIERCE offers readers pages of resources, as well as Carlson's plea for everyone to see the issue as nonpartisan. Sexual harassment, she writes, "is not a Republican issue. It's not a Democratic issue. No harasser stops to ask what party you belong to before he acts. It's a human issue, a women's issue, a men's issue. It's everyone's issue."—Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
  • "Former Fox News anchor Carlson (Getting Real) draws from her own experience of being sexually harassed to illuminate an epidemic of inappropriate behavior in the workplace, and to educate women on their rights [...] Carlson talks to a civil rights attorney about what people who have been harassed can expect after reporting incidents to human resources, provides data from sociological studies on sexist patterns in the workplace, and explores the complicated machinations of forced arbitration clauses often buried in job contracts. She includes a 12-point plan for handling harassment, outlining how to document incidents and whom to tell and when. Carlson further advises on the need to keep young women safe on college campuses, teach children respectful behavior, and recruit men as allies in the workplace. [...] Carlson's inclusion of her own stories is courageous, and her commitment to making sexual harassment a nonpartisan issue is admirable."—Publishers Weekly
  • "As an accomplished violinist, former Miss America, and Fox News commentator, Carlson is no stranger to the spotlight, but she faced one of the brightest and harshest lights when she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes in 2015. The results-a torrent of verbal abuse from critics and thousands of messages from women sharing their own experiences-spurred her into dedicated advocacy for fighting against sexual harassment, with BE FIERCE as her latest effort. [...] Carlson's drive to dispel the myths around harassment and to offer guidance as to how speak out against it remains strong throughout. [...] Carlson's uncompromising passion on this issue is highly welcome."
    Library Journal
  • "BE FIERCE is an important book, if only because it encourages conversation - something that the #MeToo movement has proven to be incredibly powerful. By coming forward with her own experiences, Carlson writes that she "decided to jump off a cliff, all by myself, with no safety net and no way of knowing what would lie below." In sharing her story - and in searching for the stories of others - she is phenomenally and extraordinarily courageous."—Bustle
  • "Sexual harassment doesn't always mean a sexual advance, as Carlson pointed out. It's about power through sexual intimidation. Surely, women have a right to live and work without this predatory threat. If enough fathers care about their daughters' future success; if enough brothers care about their sisters' safety; if enough women care enough about each other, #MeToo -- or #BeFierce -- won't be just another hashtag."—Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post
  • "The book [...] is a chilling and disturbing revelation of how, in several instances, women have been and continue to be mistreated in the US."

The Sun Daily
  • "While BE FIERCE does share some of Carlson's personal experiences -- she was first sexually harassed years ago by a cameraman on assignment for the Virginia television station where she started her journalism career not long after winning the Miss America pageant -- it's actually structured partly as a self-help book with chapters on how to handle harassment when it occurs, the kinds of changes in law and business that might tamp down its prevalence, and the role of men in combating sexual harassment." —Orange County Register
  • "Carlson's book delivers pep talks to women afraid to rock the boat, as well as specific legal strategies. Bullying and non-sexual forms of intimidation are also addressed and there's a chapter for men who stand up for women in their lives and workplace." —Associated Press
  • "What [BE FIERCE] does so well is tell the stories of real women." —Yahoo Lifestyle
  • "Gretchen has a 12-point plan on what to do if you are a victim of sexual harassment and abuse in her new book, Be Fierce." —Hollywood Life
  • "The book, Carlson's second, is focused primarily on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and relays many of the stories Carlson said she received from people around the country in the wake of her much-publicized exit from Fox News. She also offered lessons to women considering lodging a complaint." —The Hollywood Reporter
  • "With the revelations now public and as more women come forward, Carlson has become iconic in the most literal sense, a representative for thousands of women who've suffered alone. It's for them that she's written this book. The idea that her own daughter-and an entire generation of young women, with her-might face the same indignities that she has repulses her."—ELLE
  • "In her book Be Fierce, Carlson shares stories from dozens of men and women on their own sexual harassment and assault experiences as well as advice for how to fight back in a system stacked against victims. But it's the revelations about her own life that keep you engaged." —The Washingtonian
  • "[BE FIERCE] takes a brutally practical look at what can be done about sexual harassment. It asks: Why do so many women remain silent? And what needs to change to end that silence?" —Minnesota Public Radio News
  • "Men must act. That's the message I take from Carlson's new book, BE FIERCE. Carlson [...] writes with passion and the knowledge of one who knows the issue intimately. What her book deftly explains, as do many women experts, that harassment is not simply about sexual hijinks. It's about power."—John Baldoni, FORBES
  • "Ms. Carlson readily acknowledges that this can be an uphill, rock-strewn battle for an individual, and that outcomes are generally not favorable. But her no-sugar-coating attitude is meant to be empowering, not disheartening. Ms. Carlson asserts that personal bravery, strong support systems, continued cultural education and awareness, and a refusal to be silenced can accomplish the goal of eliminating sexual harassment. BE FIERCE is part history, part myth dispeller, part self-help manual, and finally a call to arms for women (and men) to rise up and demand that women be treated as human beings in the workplace."—Pittsburg Post-Gazette
  • "Carlson helped open the floodgates for thousands of women who had similar stories to tell. Their voices inspired her new book, BE FIERCE: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, in which she says sexual harassment is an equal-opportunity plight that affects women from all walks of life. Through their stories [she] examines the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace and on college campuses, and outlines different ways to combat it."—Minnesota Star Tribune
  • "Gretchen Carlson who took down Roger Ailes Chairman and CEO of Fox News and the Fox Television Stations Group for sexual harassment now tells in "Be Fierce Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back" the negative treatment she has received from people all over the country. She also cites other cases of sexual harassment by men to other women and how the perpetrators for the most part get away with their actions when they are exposed. Carlson reveals that many times human resources of company's side against the accuser and how their lives are tarnished just because they have come forward. There are other things she reveals as well that are sadly the way things are done today. At times "Be Fierce Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back" is so disgusting in the way females are treated by males that readers can only read a few pages at a time because the abuse is so repulsive to read about. There is hope though because Carlson shows there are men who are just as appalled and are side by side with women to bring about change while she also talks about how parents have to teach children to have more respect for girls and women. We have a long way to go but "Be Fierce Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back" hopefully is a book that will begin the change that is needed for women."—Midwest Book Review
  • "Be Fierce is quite useful on the practical side of these issues, where Carlson is obviously alluding to her own experiences. Have a plan before you go to HR or you'll find your options predetermined; you may have a mandatory arbitration clause in your employment contract you don't know about[...]"—The New York Review of Books
  • On Sale
    Sep 25, 2018
    Page Count
    288 pages
    Center Street

    Gretchen Carlson

    About the Author

    Recently honored as one of TIME‘s 100 Most Influential People in the World, GRETCHEN CARLSON is one of the nation’s most successful and recognized news anchors and a tireless advocate for female empowerment. She’s graced the cover of TIME and Good Housekeeping magazines and is a marquee columnist for TIME‘s Motto. Since making the decision to speak up against sexual harassment, she sparked an international conversation about the pervasiveness of the issue and in doing so discovered every woman has a story. Learn more at

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