We are self-centered. We are callous. We lack empathy. Yet there is no reason that there cannot be social movements or injustices that the psychopath cares about or that she is involved with directly. Maybe it is as simple as relating to others in our shoes insofar we can gain our own liberation through their liberation. Maybe there is a connection between our struggles and their struggles. Maybe it is as simple as wanting to see the game played according to the rules; even if they are our rules. Regardless, I do not believe that there is a contradiction between the traits of psychopathy and wanting to see certain injustices resolved. Being psychopathic may mean having a dearth of principles but it does not mean that we are completely without principle.
Regardless of how I got here, I am transgender. I do not particularly enjoy the artificial hindrances placed on my existence by having this trait. I’ve gone over these before, so I won’t belabor those chains I wear. I do care about the transgender movement however, even if my lack of empathy is apparent to anyone breathing. But, you may protest, how can I have any connection to a struggle if I cannot feel the struggles of those injusticed? Simple, I look at the struggle as a whole and do not shed any tears over the individual’s plight. The thought of transgender persons being kicked out of their lofts when found out to be trans is troubling. The exact portrait of such a person living on the streets as a result? It does not cause me to blink. Such a disconnect confused me for the longest time and did not make sense before I was formally diagnosed as psychopathic.
Since I cannot feel the joy or pain of another person, the stories of individuals in horrific situations does not register. I still on an intellectual level realize that the suffering they have could be my own suffering. So, to an extent, the involvement of my energy in the group’s larger struggles is a fight for my own self-preservation. I may be apathetic to the specifics, but I realize that this larger group could be used in order to serve my own goals. My motivation for working at a LGBT-focused organization in the past was driven by this idea. There are many misconceptions about transgenderism and if I could help dispel any of those at the individual level even, then I would be advancing my own cause. The thought that such ignorance that existed prior would negatively affect others did not register. It is all about what can be done for me.
It goes deeper than this, however. I feel a connection, for lack of a better word, to rape and molestation survivors. I have not, myself, been raped or molested, so the personal furthering that I described in the previous paragraph does not apply. So it must be something else. Here, I think the focus is on gamesmanship. By the rules and restrictions I place on myself, I find the acts of rape and molestation to be simply against the spirit of the larger game of living. There is something more permanently scarring about these actions over simple assault, theft, or deceit. If the game dictates that there are winners and losers, should not everyone have equal input on the outcome of the game? With sexual crimes there is a component that is simply unfair, especially for molestation. Children do not have the faculties that adults have when it comes to defending one’s self. One that capitalizes on that deficiency is not playing according to a fair rule-set by any means. This inequity bothers me.
The ability for the psychopath to be involved with people suffering at a group level does not contradict his psychopathology. I suspect that not all psychopaths have this ability or desire to connect with others’ injustices, but I do believe that many do. The reason could be as simple as using the larger group’s resources to promote self-interest and preservation or as complex as simply recognizing that such injustices violate the rule-set that the psychopath has imposed on herself. Because I set limits on the actions I am willing to do, I expect that others will have the same limits. Because I am hurt by the injustices committed on the larger group, I fight. However, I will never lose sleep over the specifics.