a daring and beautiful widow, upset with her Jewish
countrymen for not trusting God to deliver them from
their foreign conquerors, goes to the camp of the enemy
General Holofernes, with whom
she slowly ingratiates herself, just before decapitating
him and taking his head back to her fearful countrymen.
Like many words for fighting, guerrilla is
feminine. Although women are exempt from military
conscription, never let it be said that battle is
unwomanly. It’s an integral part of woman’s vocation.
There is divine sanction for this outrageous statement,
first pronounced in Eden, where her war began. God
informed the serpent. “I will put enmities between thee
and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall
crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel”
Satan, poor devil, was to suffer the humiliation of
being fought down through the ages and eventually
conquered through the tactics of a woman, the militant
mother of men, “fair as the moon, bright as the sun,”
but “terrible as an army set in array” (Cant. 6:9).
Because she excels in guerrilla warfare—a form of
fighting exhibiting unmistakably female
characteristics—she is seldom seen in uniform, and often
not seen at all.
Effective precisely because he doesn’t form part of the
visible army, the guerrilla acts best independently,
often on his own initiative or in small, highly mobile
units disbanding and regrouping at will under the
broadest and most radical directives of the high
command. What his operations may lack in scope is more
than made up for in ruthless, on-the-spot effectiveness.
His concern is with the immediate, the impromptu, the
fluid. Dressing like anybody else, as often as not he
lives in the neighborhood, and in fact is usually one of
the neighbors. His camouflage is anonymity: his
Unlike regulars who have the tangible support of their
fellows in well-organized ranks, the guerrilla depends
on personal motivation and an incisive grasp of main
objectives to keep up his morale. More than any other
kind of combatant, he must know what he’s fighting for,
and why. As a TRIUMPH editorial proclaimed [“War in Our
Time,” Oct. 1972], the guerrilla may become the only
moral soldier in an era of electronic warfare. That
many will be women is a foregone conclusion.
Pursued as it is under limitations which dictate other
surreptitious approaches to the enemy at close quarters,
much guerrilla work appears pedestrian and negative.
While others may cover themselves with glory before the
cameras on the video battlefield, the guerrilla is
doggedly jamming the channels, sabotaging supply lines
or planting counterpropaganda in recreation areas.
Women, not because they are naturally underhanded, but
because they are women, take to this naturally.
It’s no accident that particularly subtle underground
maneuvers are so often confided to them. Like Joan of
Arc and the divine Judith, the belligerent woman arises
out of nowhere in answer to immediate necessity, usually
when the men are about to give up. As patroness of
kinder, kuch und kirche [children, kitchen and
church] she rarely fights wholeheartedly unless
one of these is attacked; but when this does happen, the
female is indeed deadlier than the male. With all three
under fire today it’s small wonder she’s “emerging.”
She‘s been evicted, and she’s furious.
Chesterton slyly noted that women are anarchists by
instinct—not in the sense that they don’t support law
and order, but in the sense that they have been given
custody of those social areas lying beyond mere rules
and regulations and defying the quantitative approach.
Their institution par excellence, the home, may be said
to be the one anarchist institution, older than law, and
standing outside the state, if only because it is the
mother of the state.
Whereas man has been entrusted with government, his wife
has been entrusted with society. His the state, hers
the family. To his sophisticated professionalism she
brings the happy pragmatism of the dedicated amateur.
”Whenever you have a real difficulty…when a boy is
bumptious or an aunt stingy, when a silly girl will
marry somebody, or a wicked man won’t marry somebody,
all your lumbering Roman Law and British constitution
come to a standstill. A snub from a duchess or a
slanging from a fishwife is much more likely to put
To woman, “almost certainly, are due all those working
traditions that cannot be found in books, especially
those of education; it was she who first gave a child a
stuffed stocking for being good or stood him in the
corner for being naughty. This unclassified knowledge
is sometimes called rule of thumb and sometimes
motherwit. The last phrase suggests the whole truth,
for none ever called it fatherwit” (G. K. Chesterton,
What’s Wrong with the World).
Motherwit is the very stuff of guerrilla warfare, at
which woman excels to the degree that she remains at
Adam’s side where God put her. To fight with Adam is
not to fight Adam. Each must face, not the other, but
their common enemy. In this confrontation Eve’s
position is that of the guerrilla in relation to the
regular army, which is her husband’s. Like every
guerrilla’s hers is ancillary and presumes the existence
of the regular; but, again like the guerrilla, she must
be prepared to continue the fight alone when routed
regulars fall back to regroup.
I daresay this is woman’s unenviable task today, when
authority is crumbling all around us. Man has all he
can do to restructure it and regain control. Luckily,
as Chesterton also remarks, “Government is only one side
of life. The other half is called society, in which
women are admittedly dominant.” While man reforms his
ranks, she must keep the resistance going, lest
everything fall to the enemy. Unfortunately many women
alert to the current emergency have been seduced for the
first time in history into abandoning their most
impregnable positions without a fight.
The cowardice of women’s liberationists is shocking;
they don’t seem to possess the most elementary female
courage. At this crucial juncture they are proclaiming
out loud that women are no good at all, that to qualify
as human beings they must be like men.
First learning to expectorate that manly epithet,
“Bastards!” they end by cravenly subscribing to
legislation, public debate and fisticuffs as the only
viable military weapons. Demanding “equal rights” in the
very teeth of the enemy, they surrender whole batteries
of privileged positions without protest, confessing
before all creation that they have been wrong from the
beginning, that men are more excellent in all
departments of life and have been right all along about
how to do things.
Poor Adam, at a time when he needs Eve’s help most
desperately, is finding his ranks swollen with
second-rate regulars who will never master basic
training, can’t budge the artillery, won’t take orders,
and hate his guts besides. With helpers like this, who
needs the enemy?
A real woman wants man’s role in society as she wants
hair on her face. Never would she admit for a moment
that man’s way of doing things is better than hers, or
that he’s any smarter. She will only acknowledge, quite
happily, that he’s different and that she needs him.
She will be tireless, on the other hand, in
demonstrating how much he needs her. Without me, dear,
she tells Adam, you can do nothing!
The Woman of Thebes
An episode in the Book of Judges illustrates this
perfectly. It opens at the Sichemite town of Thebes,
where a desperate last ditch resistance to the murderous
tyrant Abimelech is nearing its end: “There was in the
midst of the city a high tower, to which both the men
and the women were fled together, and all the princes of
the city. And having shut and strongly barred the gate,
they stood upon the battlements of the tower to defend
themselves. And Abimelech coming near the tower, fought
stoutly; and approaching to the gate, endeavored to set
fire to it.” Abimelech had the fighting men of Thebes
penned up just where he wanted them. He was confident
of his strategy, having just liquidated the capital at
Sichem by the same tactics.
Unfortunately for him, a certain housewife, unnoticed in
the general panic, was looking down on him from the
battlements. And she was armed. Wasting no time on
lesser targets, she coolly waited till the very last
moment for the general to come into range, and “casting
a piece of a millstone from above,” she “dashed it
against the head of Abimelech, and broke his skull.”
She didn’t kill him outright, but then she didn’t have
to. Abimelech’s male chauvinist pride did the rest: “He
called hastily to his armor-bearer, and said to him,
‘Draw thy sword and kill me, lest it should be said I
was slain by a woman!’ He did as he was commanded, and
slew him.” The war ended abruptly, because with their
general gone, “all the men of Israel that were with him
returned to their homes” (Judges 9:51-55).
The Universal Woman
The woman’s name isn’t even mentioned, but then why
should it be? She’s Holy Mother the Church. She’s Mary
the Mother of God. She’s every woman fighting for
Christ against the Adversary. Like so many nameless
heroines in Scripture, she appears briefly and
brilliantly in what looks like a perfectly straight
forward account about men and their doings, only to
disappear as suddenly once she has scored her point.
But the plot is never the same again.
This woman is universal. Despite infrequent public
appearances, she’s there all the time. In fact the
enemy tends to forget about her, and that’s his undoing.
Our Theban housewife never forgot him for a minute, but
she didn’t foolishly abandon her social position in
order to fight him as a man would. Forced to flee her
house for the safety of the tower with the other
refugees, she took her home with her.
The Holy Spirit exemplifies this exquisitely in the
deadly weapon she used: It was part of her ordinary
kitchen equipment, one of the stones between which she
ground the flour to make the family’s bread. With this
in hand, why wrest a useless sword or spear from her
“Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but
on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to
powder” (Matt. 21:44), for the “millstone from above”
which she dropped on Abimelech was one of many Old
Testament prefigurations of Christ, the stumbling block
from on high which is an obstacle to Jews, madness to
pagans, “but unto them that are called…Christ, the power
of God and the wisdom of God” (1Cor. 1:24). Woman is
privileged to wield this invincible weapon insofar as
she conforms to the feminine roles God has assigned her.
She throws it with greatest force and least effort from
the “high tower” which is a favorite figure of exalted
prayer in scripture. Established thus aloft in faith,
our housewife scorned the absurd idea of rushing down
and out of this tower in order to dispatch Abimelech by
some kamikaze-type sally. Rather, this seasoned
guerrilla, waited confidently on God’s providence to
supply the proper opportunity. She was above any
quantitative approach based on calculated
probabilities. And her attack, we sense somehow, was
intensely personal, a thrust at an enemy who was out to
destroy everything she held dear. It had quality, not
to mention devastating female unexpectedness.
Most noteworthy is that she didn’t rely on her own
strength to strike him, wisely preferring to propel her
missile by God’s inexorable natural law of gravity. So
it is that any natural force enlisted supernaturally, as
it were from the top of the “tower,” becomes endowed
with divine efficacy. Woman, so close in her maternal
functions to the natural forces of life, has a special
duty to regulate society by keeping it firmly rooted in
the natural law ordained by God. All the anti-life
diseases which plague us today—contraception, abortion,
artificial education, homosexuality, euthanasia and
their like—are essentially sins against maternity,
against woman herself, so let her drop her millstone, by
The Valiant Woman
Not only a figure of Christ, this millstone by which the
family meal is prepared is most particularly a symbol of
Christian education [and certainly home schooling, as
well! Ed. The Remnant], an instrument of
supernatural nourishment. Our Lord tells us it would be
better to be drowned with it around our necks than to
teach children anything improper (Matt. 18:6). Not
the least of woman’s guerrilla activities is the care
and training of future guerrillas, not to mention all
the professional soldiers who must issue from her womb.
These are her “seed,” destined to battle the
Adversary—and win. The quality of their fighting spirit
is her first responsibility. She must use every natural
means at her command to this supernatural end. If she
deserts her post, what men can man theirs?
Sad to say, the besieged home is, as Chesterton again
says, “like the church and the republic, now chiefly
assailed by those who have failed to fulfill it.
Numberless modern women have rebelled against
domesticity in theory because they have never known it
in practice.” They have never known, apparently,
domesticity is a fight to the death, the home a
resistance cell in the very bowels of enemy territory,
and the woman there a warrior from the beginning.
Who shall find a valiant
Far and from the
uttermost coasts is the price of her!