Without retreading all of the particulars of what I term “psychopath erasure“, I want to tackle one of the common perceptions of psychopathic-identifying (or assessed) individuals. Some speak of the psychopathic condition as being a fictitious one and that the efforts of psychopathic individuals are merely one of reclamation. To these individuals, the use of the term “psychopath” by antisocial individuals is seen as a way to fight the often oppressive use of the word in society. To them, the word does not hold actual significance beyond the personal meaning given by the psychopathic individual. This is wrong.
I’ve cited numerous examples of the neurological differences (and behavioral differences) that exist between psychopaths and mere ASPD individuals. In my opinion, we are not “taking the word back” so much as we are seeking to be validated for the differences we possess. ASPD does not sum up the elegance of our brains, the tenacity of our actions, or the magnitude of the thoughts we are with. The analogy would be the discovering of a new species on this planet and then refusing to give it proper taxonomy because a similar – but still different – species already exists. Essentially, psychopaths are erased.
Those who suggest we are merely reclaiming an oppressive word are short-sighted and also have no standing to talk. When those individuals are found to be psychopathic, they can speak for us. In the meantime, authority is ours alone and the authority we grant ourselves demands that we are fighting for the unique differences, physical and behavioral, that we possess and the recognition of such differences. Reclamation can only exist if a word denoted our kind properly in the first place – leading to stigma. We cannot reclaim what was never ours to begin with. If we are reclaiming anything, it is the ability to recognized for the truly different humans that we are.