Voices Carry: Stories of Power, Equality, and Respect with Elizabeth Lesser & Donna Freitas Ph.D.

Original Air Date Wednesday, September 21, 2022 

Throughout human history, men have been the storytellers and the scribes. How might our cultures have changed if we also had versions of herstory to study and learn from?

Who might we be today if matriarchy guided our dreams, ambitions, and basic needs? To ponder these questions and understand how women can lean into their power, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two authors who research stories of power, equality, and respect. Elizabeth Lesser shares stories of women in history who have had their voices quelled in her book, Cassandra Speaks: When Women are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes. Donna Freitas discusses the years of research she assembled which led to her book, Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention.

Elizabeth Lesser — Female Storytellers:

  • Elizabeth shares the story of Eve and her hero’s journey. [2:20]
  • Constantly repressed, the women of Afghanistan understand that men fear their power. [4:34]
  • In the face of stress and trauma, men may fight or fly, and women tend and befriend. [7:43]
  • Changing the nature of power through practice and meditation. [18:46]
  • Elizabeth explains how men and women are wounded by the traditional patriarchy. [24:37]

Elizabeth Lesser, guest of new podcast episode called Voices Carry: Stories of Power, Equality, and Respect with Donna Freitas Ph.D.Elizabeth Lesser is the author of several bestselling books and is the co-founder of Omega Institute, recognized internationally for its workshops and conferences in wellness, spirituality, creativity, and
social change. She has given two popular TED talks and is one of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100, a collection of a hundred leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity.

Book: Cassandra Speaks: When Women are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes


Elizabeth Lesser
@elizabethlesser on Twitter
Elizabeth Lesser on Facebook
@elizlesser on Instagram


Donna Freitas — Stories of Power & Equality

  • Donna’s book, Sex on Campus, is based on her research with students and her own Title IX experience. [32:48]
  • The theme of Donna’s research was that students resented the sexual expectations they didn’t agree with. [36:33]
  • Donna shares her insights on the hook-up culture, casual sex, the lack of satisfaction, and consent. [42:55]
  • Under the guise of sexual liberation, cultural expectations are stealing the voice of younger generations. [52:47]
  • In her novel, The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano, Elizabeth explores a woman’s life in nine different scenarios. [56:54]

Donna Freitas Ph.D, guest of new podcast episode called Voices Carry: Stories of Power, Equality, and Respect with Elizabeth Lesser Donna Freitas has written more than twenty books, both fiction and nonfiction, for adults, children, and young adults. Among them is Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention (Little, Brown, 2019), and her debut novel for adults, The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano (Viking, 2021), which has been translated into 20 different languages. Donna has spoken at nearly two hundred colleges and universities to discuss her nonfiction research, and has written and appeared on radio and television, from NPR’s All Things Considered to The Today Show to do the same. She splits her time between Brooklyn and Barcelona.

Book: Consent on Campus: A Manifesto


Donna Freitas
@DonnaFreitas.writer on Instagram




This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio about storiies of power, equality, and respec is sponsored by:

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“Ultimately, it is the fear of women’s power that is creating this issue.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The rule of law by force has a terrible track record.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“If we are not emotionally fit in all areas of our lives the physical expression of our sexuality can’t be fully realized.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Most of the storytellers, especially early on in history, were men.” @elizabethlesser on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Eve is the only hero in the bible who is punished for her curiosity and desire to be wise.” @elizabethlesser on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Women throughout history have had to change who we are to fit into the male narrative.” @elizabethlesser on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We collectively decide to believe a story and then that becomes the value of the culture.” @elizabethlesser on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“What would it have been like if all these years as a culture, we had valued the ‘tend and befriend’ in humans as much as the ‘fight or flight’?” @elizabethlesser on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The new hero's credo is to have a strong back and soft front.” @elizabethlesser on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“How can you know what someone else is feeling if you don't know what you are feeling yourself?” @elizabethlesser on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“How can we make the experience of coming forward better for people?” Donna Freitas on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Students were trying to confirm to a set of expectations around sex they not only didn't agree with but that they resented.” @DonnaFreitas.writer on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Sex becomes an act of performance as opposed to something you do because your body wants it.” @DonnaFreitas.writer on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Smartphones and social media speed up our life so we don’t do much thinking.” @DonnaFreitas.writer on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There are generations of young adults who are disempowered around sex who don’t even know their desires.” @DonnaFreitas.writer on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet



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