Is This a Trick Question?

A recent issue of the Wall Street Journal (July 29–30, 2023) ran a feature entitled “Have We Ruined Sex?” that gave five writers the opportunity to discuss “whether society has lost its way when it comes to the most intimate of human acts.” Three of the five writers are women: Katie Roiphe, who might fairly be called a feminist; Mary Harrington, who seems to be an anti-feminist feminist; Agnes Callard, whom I am unable to describe, except to note that the Wikipedia article I consulted (on August 1, 2023) says:

In 2011, she divorced her husband, fellow University of Chicago professor Ben Callard, and began seeing Arnold Brooks, who was a graduate student at the time. After a year of dating, they married. Agnes has two children with Callard and one with Brooks. She lives with both her current husband and her ex-husband.

The article then adds, “Callard was diagnosed with autism in her 30s.”


R. V. Young is Professor of English Emeritus at North Carolina State University, and a former editor of Modern Age: A Quarterly Review. His Shakespeare & the Idea of Western Civilization is forthcoming in January from Catholic University of America Press. He and his wife are parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Dunedin, Florida. They have five grown children, 15 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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