Today I was reading Wikipedia about various topics, and I started to look over different Roman Emperors. While reading about Elagabalus, a well-known weirdo, I decided to take a look at the Talk Page. The Talk Page, for anyone who is not familiar with Wikipedia, is where users discuss factual, stylistic, and other issues regarding the entry, which is a compilation of the work of multiple contributors. Anyway, apparently Elagabalus dressed up as a woman at times, and may have attempted a primitive sex-change operation. Thus, someone on the talk page suggests that he be referred to as “she” rather than “he”. I have learned in several classes at Santa Clara, of course, that transsexuals prefer to be referred to as the sex they wish they are, rather than the sex they were born into. However, it seems to me to be quite inappropriate for this case, and most likely for most cases in which it is used.
Firstly, of course it makes sense that a transsexual would wish to use the opposite pronoun. And I will say, in a social setting, if someone introduced themselves to me as Mary, Grace, Sally, or anything else typically considered a feminine name, I would probably refer to that person as “she” even if the person looked like a man. However, it seems to me that referring to such a person as being an actual member of the opposite sex in writing or even in conversation with others is silly, and probably destructive. A man cannot become a woman, and a woman cannot become a man, anymore than one may change his skin color or height. A man may insist his friends call him “Donna”, wear women’s clothing, and even convince the great majority of people who meet him that he is a woman. But, he still isn’t, anymore than a Swede in a dashiki is African. The hypothetical Swede may be completely entranced by the cultures of Africa, wish he had come from that continent, feel inwardly that he should have been born there, but nonetheless he is not. Thus, referring to a man who goes to great lengths to pretend to be a woman as a woman is not correct, despite the fact that it may be rude in certain contexts to point out that he is wrong to consider himself a woman.
Furthermore, referring to Elagabalus as “she” is in a way an illustration of the absurdity of the trend. No Roman believed Elagabalus was a woman. He was an emperor, not an empress. I can envision that some activists would wish to entirely change the article, turning him into a Roman Empress, a priestess of a Semitic Sun-god, and so on. We could completely lose the knowledge that he was in fact a man, or at least such knowledge could be obscured.
The trend of calling things what we wish they were, rather than what they are, is quite dangerous. It should be seen, I would think, as dangerous by liberals as well as conservatives. If one calls a man a woman, lines of reality are blurred too much. Even radical homosexual activists should see the value in maintaining contact with reality: they will have no success whatsoever if they do not. It is profitable to everyone to maintain contact with reality, and it is foolish of anyone who doesn’t. In fact, it is indicative of the fact that they are wrong.