Category Archives: A Rational Woman

Those Famous 5 Stages of Grief: Hogwash?

griefLoss —if we’ve been paying attention and are older than 12—is a recurrent theme in all our lives. You don’t have to identify as a Bright to have dealt with grief or to realize you will face grieving someday.

I’d often read about the so-called five stages of grief, first espoused by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross more than 40 years ago. But when I recently read a … Read more

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Who Needs Friends?

women friendsWhen I recently interviewed Mary Trunk regarding her delightful film about women who are both mothers and artists, I began thinking about the role of female friends in women’s lives. Especially in my own life.

Here’s a piece of that longer interview with Mary Trunk:

Q: Mary, I was almost envious (okay, I was envious) of the close lifelong friendship between two of the women Read more

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Whose Afterlife Matters?

afterlife tunnelTry this thought experiment:

Suppose you knew that, although you yourself would live a normal life span, the earth would be completely destroyed thirty days after your death in a collision with a giant asteroid. How would this knowledge affect your attitudes during the remainder of your life?

That’s what the author of a new book suggests we do. Death and the Afterlife (Oxford) by … Read more

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6 Irrational Things I Hate

AngerIt isn’t just me, is it? Don’t we all deplore certain types of people, people who persist in believing and acting in ways we find loathsome?

When I encounter certain irrational behaviors, my irritation risks rising into exasperation. So it’s time to vent.

Following are some of the triggers that derail my equanimity and compel me to find solutions. Can you relate?

1. People who Read more

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Oh, Go Upgrade Yourself

Pig OfficeA new computer operating system upgrade had been widely advertised for some months, though the reviews that were coming out were equivocal. Stephen keeps up with computer technology, and I skim the tech section in a couple of newspapers, more to prolong breakfast than because I fully understand what I’m reading.  Still, I ventured, “Looks like they’re saying we don’t need this upgrade.”

“That’s what … Read more

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Kill Your Cat

catMy mother’s cat died today. My mother, turning 84, is a cat person, and I’m not. It’s not just that I’m allergic to their dander. This cat, Missy, hissed at me from the start, and always threatened to scratch me or anyone who came too close.

This post isn’t really about cats, though. It’s about facing death rationally. Missy wasn’t my mother’s first cat. She … Read more

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Rational Woman Hates Her Body

uglyI’m rational, right? That’s what I keep saying. But I’m also a woman, and a woman’s self-image is way too often affected by the careless comments of others, whether family, friends, or the omnipresent media. For instance, see the big media fuss over Marion Bartoli, a sports champ, and the unkind comments made about her quite normal looks.

Here’s how that sort of thing worked … Read more

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When Religion Probably Doesn’t Help

Question“A Rational Woman” is trying something a little different today for the blog. Here are two questions (that I made up to get us started).

Dear Rational Woman:

Q:  I read a study some time back that young people who are religious wear seat belts more often than the non-religious, smoke and drink less, eat better, and don’t commit as many crimes.  The conclusion of Read more

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13 Neat Things You May Not Know About Humanism

Humanist_earringsI’m going to share some humanist thoughts and resources I picked up at the 2013 American Humanist Association Conference that may be as new to you as they were to me.

First, though, in brief, what’s humanism? I don’t think I can summarize it better than this statement on the site of the AHA, which you’ll notice shares much in common with The Brights:


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3 Curmudgeonly Insights into the Good Life

not cheerfulI’ve experienced the pull of positive psychology since it was called humanistic psychology, back in the 1970s or before. Newly re-packaged, with a lot of recent research backing up what to me seems, by now, like common sense, this field aims to turn self-help into a science.

You want to be happy, or happier, or live a better life? Fine, here’s what you need to … Read more

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