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@typeoneerror
Last active Aug 29, 2015
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What would you like to do?

I agree with Monteiro that folks who act reprehensibly should immediately be removed from our spaces. No question. However, I do—as someone who has struggled with mental illness my entire life—have some additional thoughts.

As much as I want—no NEED—to remove harmful individuals from spaces, I find it harmful using "sociopath" to describe bad behavior. I've personally used this word frequently, along with "crazy" and other ableist language. I want to do better.

Speaking with my friend who is a psychologist, she noted "sociopath" and "psychopath" are meaningless words; no agreed-upon definition. Calling someone a "sociopath" is like calling a woman a "slut"; you are labeling based on behavior you don't like or don't understand. Personally, I think it further stigmatizes mental health for people who've been diagnosed with personality disorders. Most of the people I know personally with personality/disaffective disorders are wonderful, caring people, and it's unfair and unclear for them to be lumped in with humans acting "shitty", as Monteiro puts it.

Harrassment and male violence are not the result of someone being a sociopath. Mentally healthy folks are complicit and particiate as well. Using "sociopath" to describe bad behavior perpetuates the stigma that people with mental health issues are inherently dangerous.

@marcysutton
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marcysutton commented Aug 13, 2015

Thank you for writing this, it's very much worth calling out. ❤️

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