The ancient Greeks used the word paschein as their word for “emotion.” More literally, paschein translates to “suffering.”

Adrienne Roberts

When my professor stated this, sadly, my first thought was, “maybe I have more in common with the Greeks than I thought.” As of late, I’ve subconsciously allowed myself to be removed emotionally from what I hear on television or read in newspapers.

I know I’m not the only one who has learned that getting emotional these days — especially in the world of politics — can backfire. Many women, especially young women, have become hardened to endless and degrading statements and decisions made against them. Even worse, many women are purposely ignorant to save themselves the pain in advance. Ask many of my friends in college about what’s currently happening in the world of women and politics — they shake their heads and say something to the effect of, “Is it even worth it to pay attention?”

From the birth control battle and insensitive name-calling, to discovering that women pay on average approximately 30 percent more than men for health insurance, it seems like a lost cause. It makes sense why more young women aren’t publicly speaking out against these numerous discriminations. As a woman, when you get up and passionately take a stand against inequality in society, you’re called a “slut” or an “ugly feminist,” and consequently, you are either ridiculed or made a martyr.

It’s a rough world out there for women. Entering the realm of politics right now, whether to voice your opinion or to simply stay informed about current events, is equivalent to going into battle and realizing that not only your enemies, but your comrades as well, are taking aim at you.

For example, Rick Santorum called contraception dangerous and “not okay,” before going on to say that birth control is “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” When Rick Santorum’s wife, Karen, a neo-natal nurse and former law student, was interviewed on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight this Saturday, and she said, “Women have nothing to fear when it comes to contraceptives,” claiming that her husband would not bring his personal religious beliefs “to play” as president.

As an issue that affects many college-aged women, it’s comforting to hear that she believes that Santorum wouldn’t bring religion into the politics of this issue. However, when the difference between Rick Santorum’s views of contraception and what Karen Santorum claims he will do in office is vast, and it makes women who worried about the issue seem irrational and just plain wrong. How could so many women have misinterpreted his comments, if what Karen Santorum says true?

Watching Karen Santorum speak made me wonder if I had misjudged nearly everything I had heard and read up until that point. Claiming that her husband never made such comments only further pitted them against the majority of women. A complete disregard for his self-righteous and judgmental comments further trivialized the issue.

While it’s beneficial that these concerns, which are usually avoided by the media, are being discussed the way in which they are talked about makes women seem less than human. Those in power are trying to make women obtain consent from doctors and have a waiting period before an abortion and forcibly receive an ultrasound. They also disregard that women are paying more for health insurance, but why? Apparently, it’s because women are just not intelligent enough to make decisions about their own personal health.

I understand wanting to hide under the covers and weather out this demeaning and seemingly insane public movement against women; it’s so much easier to remove oneself emotionally from the realities that surround this situation. Unfortunately, it truly is happening. If young women don’t do something to stop it, the women’s social security in the future may be even further compromised, and that prospect alone is something worth a little emotion.

Adrienne Roberts can be reached at adrirobe@umich.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @AdrRoberts.

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