It's a vague term, and I don't really deal with it very often in my actual life.
But I've had some situations come up, a few times in my life, in which I was beset by individual sociopaths of both genders.
A very tricky situation can develop in this, in the whole larger area of claims of "harassment" between women and men, especially in literary circles.
Now, first of all, let me say, men are sometimes sociopaths, of course, too.
But in an age of women trying to assert their right to have protection from harassment by males, interaction between the genders has to be addressed, I believe ahead of time, in regards to the fact that a percentage of women, as with men, are sociopaths and can try to use claims of "harassment" as a vehicle to engage in theft, such as intellectual property theft.
When a young woman asserts a man is "harassing" her because he is attempting to get writing back, which was shared with her in good faith and trust, this is an example of socio-pathology. It is also an example of abuse of the system by using the system to promote socio-pathological behavior. As noted, I had this experience, and was able to determine, over several years' time afterwards, that I was not the first or only male who had fallen victim to such a female sociopath (I'll call her SK).
At the time I was a victim, I was also grieving over the deaths of: my late brother (who had died 5 years before and about who I'd been writing), the more recent death of my father, and the pending death of my oldest sister.
I was warned not to speak to several women at my graduation ceremony, which I almost skipped due to deep grief anyway. I was advised that I might be attacked afterwards if I did.
This was all due to naivete on the part of some faculty, and some resentments or stress over my having sent a number of emails during the final stressful days of finishing up my final semester's work on my MA degree. The young female sociopath in question was able to play on that naivete and that resentment to create a climate of hostility and coldness toward me, at a time in my life when I was under tremendous stress and grief, in order to be able to get away with stealing my writing.
In previous months, I had communicated with her e-mail list serv, in which her fellow female students, toward the end of the semester, had begun to post self-deprecating and self-doubting e-mails in which they made such statements as:
"I fear my husband now thinks I look bucth, since my end of final semester super haircut which is shorter than his, but done to get my through to this final end". Another of her friends wrote, "I have studied so much and missed out on so many men lately that I am afraid I'll end up an old maid".
SK, for her part, had posted an email topic called "Stranded at the drive-in" in which she similarly was expressing her own self-deprecating fears that her current man friend/pending fiancee was going to drop her in such fashion in the near future if a break in her stress didn't come soon.
I attempted, in one approach to her online, to get through her indifference to returning my writing by thus complimenting her and her friends and to relieve their various anxieties, to assert that she/they was/were ok, and shouldn't be self-doubting and that she "made me feel like a butch old maid" in an attempt to reassure her and her friends, with direct quotes of their own words, about the degree studies near end stress(es).
Well, I also sent friendship flowers, and was careful to attach a note specifically saying that they were FRIENDSHIP flowers, per the florists' own description, since I knew she was working on her goal of closing the goal of marrying her fiancee in the near-future.
Finally, when none of that got a response, I called on the phone and left a message, asking her to call me back and meet me somewhere with my writing, or email me where I could pick up my writing.
She proceeded to use her situation to steal my writing by claiming my efforts were "harassment" and sent an e-mail forward to Admin. asserting she "didn't find me attractive" and "could never find me attractive as anything other than friend."
I had not found her attractive either, being older and with a waning sex drive; but I was also involved with Lynn-- and cared about her feelings.
I had, however, briefly thought I'd be moving to Texas to pursue doctoral studies in rhetoric, although I doubted the situation would work out. But SK was going to be moving to TX also, for a time, though I didn't know where. So I thought we might help each other if we had vehicle trouble initially, as I had previously lived in Houston in the '80s and found friends were hard to find in that regard in that area. It seemed logical that the first few days in the state might be simpler for each of us to have a friend for that for a time.
It was in the back of my mind, though I never had opportunity to present that idea to her. My sister began to die, which quickly shut that down, as it left me as my mom's only caretaker for our family in AR. Moving, leaving the state, was now out of the question. So my only motive left, was to publish online, perfect my web writing skills and get my writing I had entrusted to sk previously as part of the "writing center" programs she asserted she was a part of.
Nevertheless, I wasn't given any options to present my side of the story, when Admin. responded to her complaint, including the fact she hadn't returned my writing.
I was reassured, at a later date by a female professor that she was sure SK would return my writing.
It didn't happen. On several occasions, I checked back with the "writing center" where SK had claimed on one occasion, several months before, to see if she had yet kept her word. Never happened.
I learned, over some years, that she had developed some reputation for having not returned writing and documents to a physician with whom she had worked at a local hospital. When his emails had suddenly gone unanswered, it appears, he had attempted to call her on the phone to arrange to get the materials back.
She had then promptly complained to Security (sic) about his "calling and harassing" her.
(In a final, complicating step, I also learned her online identity had been stolen, at a later time, by a woman writer who had her own agenda, and used SK's identity to purvey a story and perspective of her won, but attaching her own bio to SK's name--this, at a time when SK was no longer even in the state, although I have no clue where she was except somewhere in TX, a rather large haystack.)
I hope the women's movement can be aware that such women exist-- and will be playing these games in the midst of political climates and various election seasons. They will be answered probably in the media, and this will have a disconcerting, discrediting impact on women's efforts at protection from genuine harassment.
I can't rescue modern women. I am aging, faster than my years, and losing even my vision as well as my memory. All I can do, at this point in my life, is Share this material with women to help put them in to touch with reality as to who their friends are, in some situations.