A woman who has the management of a household, all the tasks associated with that, plus the charge of, say, four or more children, along with the home-schooling of each of them, is not a hero. She is called to be a heroine, as we say or said in good English. To make her gender-neutral is to diminish her, for she is doing something only she can do, and she is a she. A man would need assistance.

To ask this woman also to hold down a job, in our feckless commercial world, is to ask the impossible. There are limits to what people can do, which apply even to saints of either sex, though as we were once taught, “With God, all things are possible.”

One thinks of Grace Darling, or at least I do, for as a little boy I was subjected to Wordsworth’s poem on that topic. She was the young heroine who, with her lighthouse-keeper father, rescued nine souls from a rock-smashed paddlesteamer in the Farne Islands (off county Northumberland) on 7 September 1838. And this in a rowboat, launched by her mother, which in the weather should never have put to sea: furious walls of water. All, but especially the girl, became in their time and after, the fame of England.

Indeed, I was subjected to many heroic stories of women in my very backward school (St Anthony’s, Lahore), and to this day have visions of Grace Darling with her oar, Florence Nightingale with her lantern, Edith Cavell before the Kaiser’s firing squad. (It was a boy’s school, incidentally.)

A mother is in the business of the rescue of souls. Absent her, the children may well be lost — in the full Christian sense, which passeth understanding. Even here in Parkdale, I have observed several heroic mothers, including one disfigured while rescuing someone else’s child from the wheels of an absent-minded truck, and another raising fine Catholic daughters in despite of a monstrous, utterly faithless father. One is not called — until one is called.

Feminism has set its neck against heroic women, and against the calling of maternity. The last I heard of Grace Darling, she and her fully deserved reputation were being mocked by a cute clever young female siren, whose answer to “excess children” was to abort them. To say she had reversed Victorian attitudes would be too tame; her view of the world was consistently anti-human. Yet she herself I might cast as a victim — of a godless home and frequently satanic system of public education. I add this last because they preach lessons that deny the natural moral order, and sabotage simple human goodness with unholy demands. I celebrate each day Ontario’s revolting teachers walk out on strike — ever demanding more money for their (wildly overpaid) selves.

This is why home-schooling has become necessary, for all those not provided with great wealth, and even for some who are, for they cannot trust private schools which promote the same moral disorder as the public ones. By adolescence, all but a few of their pupils have sized up the world as a playground for perfect selfishness, or directed both their malignity and idealism towards “social justice warring.” And yet, do nothing charitable on their own account; who live to protest.

The mother in a fine family is not alone, who has a good husband. But even without him she is not alone. From the tax department down to mass and social media, she is under assault. She must be heroically formed, to make her stand against them all; to pay the real costs that accompany “going against the flow.”

Politics have become, at best, a necessary evil. They require us to try, within our means, to reverse that flow; to do whatever can be done to restore a sane moral order, in which people are encouraged to do what is good, and discouraged from doing what is bad, rather than vice versa. Men have their rĂ´le in this struggle, but I am hardly the first to notice that women are on the front line.

Or that, once their children have grown, our whole society is deprived of women who have come through that challenge, and are now free to offer this world the fruit of their wisdom, maturity, and strength — as well as to receive the tribute love of grandchildren.