Over the coming weeks and months I hope to address each of the twenty traits that the modern psychopath is defined by. Not all psychopaths exhibit all of these traits, and a person that exhibits all of them is rare. If you want to get ahead of the game and read about what these entail, go for it. For obvious legal reasons, I cannot talk too directly about my experience with the PCL-R, but let’s just say that it felt like the Meyer-Briggs for psychopaths. You are interviewed and based off the answers to the interview questions and your history you are diagnosed as a psychopath or not. There are twenty traits that make up psychopathy according to this checklist and you are assigned zero, one, or two points for each based off the interview and your history. A score of 30 or above leads to a diagnosis of psychopathy.
Lack of realistic long-term goals / Revocation of conditional release
These are two separate traits, but they really, to my eye, get at a single core component: the inability to consult past or future when making decisions in the present. Many psychopaths actually have limited, or no, criminal history. Your author is one of these psychopaths. Now, this isn’t to say that I have not done things that would land me in the pokey, but I have, more or less, been free of actually being a resident. Which is fortuitous considering the tragedy of being transgender and imprisoned (a post for a different day). As such, your ‘smart’ or law-abiding psychopath may test lower on the PCL-R than the unlucky or dim-witted sap that has his mail sent to jail. Such does not make us any less psychopathic, but it is interesting how many border cases may fail to test positive due to some luck or wits. However, I digress. The first trait suggests that we have a poor eye toward the future. The second suggests that we ignore the past. And, I would say, that is largely true. Continue reading Momentary
So we’ve seen some of the reasons that there is stigma with respect to being transgendered and with respect to being psychopathic. Many of the reasons are simply irrational – hiring Bob Barker to emcee your Michael Vick ultra-extravaganza dedicated to dogs with cerebral palsy makes more sense than some of these reasons even if you were wasted and coked-out when you did the booking. However, just because the stigma is, in general, undeserved does not make the transgenderist or psychopath feel any better about the extra obstacles in their life. So, how does this affect me, your transgender, psychopathic author? I am privileged enough in life to where most of this does not mean too much, but nonetheless there are points to take home. Continue reading Stigma (3 of 3)
So I wear my mask, hiding my transgender status, to avoid the stigma of being associated with such. The stigma associated with psychopathy is much different. Whereas the stigma of being transgender seems to come from a gut feeling of revulsion by society, the stigma of being psychopathic seems to stem from fear. Although some may fear that the female transgenderist will commit sexual violence in ‘female’ spaces, most are more repulsed by the idea that human bodies are not supposed to evolve that way – it is a reaction of disgust, much like that feeling you had walking in on your roommate performing sex acts involving peanut butter, imported Pabst Blue Ribbon, and a latex sex doll (The PBR was for the doll, apparently – or maybe your roommate’s dog, Waffles). Continue reading Stigma (2 of 3)
To be both transgender and psychopathic is to wear two masks. Adjusting the fit of one automatically makes the other fit more snugly. The reason for this is that, regardless of intent, both traits require deception. I would argue that, in most cases, there is only amoral and self-serving intent driving either condition and the deception required of it. However, deception is deception. Society is distrustful of those that live in deception and, possibly, rightfully so. As such there is great stigma being associated with either transgenderism or psychopathy. This trilogy of posts will explore the stigma of each condition and will conclude with the reasons that such stigma is unnecessary. Continue reading Stigma (1 of 3)
I have written about my thoughts on lying. Are lies, and the act of deceiving itself, necessarily a bad thing for the person you are lying to? Or, should people know the truth at all times? Yes, that would involve them knowing about the time that you gave their dog psychedelic mushrooms and it flipped out and ate the cat, asshole. There are certainly advantages to hiding the truth when a negative impact will be felt by the deceiver. However, there can be advantages to the person being deceived as well – they just may not be founded in morality.
I believe it is true that presenting falsehood is, by and large, immoral. People want to believe, and do by default in most cases, that the person they are interacting with is being forthright and honest. Trust and confidence in the actions of another cannot be built if one (or both) parties are deceiving. But, an unwise feeling of such can be built if one is not discovered to be lying. I do not have the moral quandaries that most have when it comes to deceiving. I lie because, if successful, it brings great advantage to the situation I’m in. Running late for work? There was an accident. Unable to make an engagement? Sorry, I double-booked. Unable to recall the number of that date that totally creeped you out because of her over-attachment to Beanie Babies and her mural to Hanson? Sorry, a boa constrictor ate my child who had swallowed that note you gave me with your number on it. So on and so forth. In the absence of being found out, does this really harm the person being duped? Clearly, the person must believe you to be honest for this to work. Continue reading Deceiver
Author’s note: I originally, and advertised as such, was going to put up a post regarding new research from Europe regarding empathy being a ‘switch’ of sorts for psychopaths. Having written and queued it for today, I forgot about it only to find out that a much more specialized (in psychopathy) blog had beaten me to the punch and, frankly, I respect them too much to give appearances of piggy-backing. So, if you are looking for insight on this new research, check out their blog. I may resurrect my post for filler in the future.
How, if at all, does one disclose a core, but repugnant to some, component of their being? How do I disclose to others that my voice, my mannerisms, my gait, and so forth betray what is between my legs? Do I disclose at all, or do I keep others in the dark? As a transgenderist, these are questions I face all the time. Being both part of such a marginalized stratum of people and being myself a psychopath play roles in answering that question.
Continue reading Disclosure
Humans do not fear black and white so much as they fear shades of grey. Take sexual orientation for example. Much of western society is starting to come on board for what is broadly termed as ‘gay rights’. Gay and straight are becoming more and more accepted as viable options for one’s sexual orientation. However, what of the bisexual? Bisexuals are still rendered invisible or untrustworthy by the homosexual community and are considered a fetish by many in the heterosexual ‘community’. Many homosexuals are fine with other homosexual or straight people, but the bisexual is merely a ‘closeted’ homosexual or a person that greedily soaks up heterosexual privilege to them. This degrading view has dwindled somewhat since the height of second-wave feminism in the 80s and early 90s but I still run into these stereotypes. I should know, I am bisexual and I used to work for an organization heavily involved in LGBT issues. It isn’t that homosexuals or heterosexuals are unable to comprehend the bisexual, it is just that they are disgusted (or interested) by the possibility that a continuum of sexual orientation exists and that it is not binary. Continue reading Shades
As I mentioned in the previous post, others’ naivety and a bit of luck are extremely important in order to ‘pass’. However, a third component is present as well: one’s ability to capitalize on that naivety and that luck, one’s predatory spirit.
Many would categorize, somewhat unfairly, that the psychopath’s tactics are predatory but would not use the same adjective to describe transgenderists. Neither group is particularly liked by society, but society is willing to give transgenderists the benefit of the doubt whereas society assumes that psychopaths must be evil. I would argue that alignment means nothing to this point, both transgenderists and psychopaths are merely capitalizing on the deficiencies of people. The transgender person may be using your naivety and their own luck to get what they want: to be perceived as a member of the sex they are approximating. The psychopath is doing the same actions looking to get whatever benefit they want. The implications are the same. Continue reading Passing (2 of 2)
The key to invading circles that one ‘does not belong in’ is to pass well. This applies to both transgenderists and psychopaths. Passing is the art of keeping some internal characteristic hidden in a way, or emphasizing other characteristics in a manner, such that others do not suspect you possess that characteristic. This differs from anonymity as you are not hiding yourself in full. A transgender person passes when others do not suspect that their outward dress, mannerisms, and body deny their true biological sex. A psychopath passes when she is considered empathic, trustworthy, interested in others, or otherwise ‘normal’ as appropriate. In both cases, passing is the act of wearing a disguise in such a way to where others do not know of your true internal state. Now, the degree to which the disguise is worn for ill-intent can vary, and is much more applicable to the mask worn by the psychopath rather than the makeup of the female transgenderist, but it is still, nevertheless, a disguise. To pass is to wear your mask such that the separation of flesh and disguise is not perceivable. I pass on both fronts. Continue reading Passing (1 of 2)
Nintendo, a video game hardware and software provider, announced new characters for their upcoming iteration of Super Smash Bros., a fighting game starring characters that tend to be intellectual properties of Nintendo, for their newest console, the Wii U. From what I understand of this series, players control avatars that, using Nintendo-themed items, strive to eject one another from a map and whoever has the most evictions of other players from the game stage wins. One of the new characters is a stoic staple in their Animal Crossing series of games – the villager. The Internet quickly exploded and started a meme that the character must be a psychopath because of his stoicism and the seeming gleam in his eye. The full description of the meme and sample images can be viewed here.
This paints a terribly inaccurate picture of most psychopaths. As I’ve mentioned briefly before, psychopaths are not required to be violence-seeking beings of chaos. The quick and dirty rule of psychopathy is that we live by the mantra of putting ourselves first and seeking any means necessary to achieve our wants and desires. What benefit is there to end up in prison due to random acts of violence? I am not saying that no psychopaths live for such bloodlust, but many of us do not, even if we may fantasize about it. This meme suggests that we are unhinged monsters seeking nothing more than to harm others. As fun as it can be to see others hurting, once again the risk of imprisonment is just not worth it. Continue reading Meme