Taken to mean 'womanliness', or 'the quality of being feminine', Spark Notes' notion that 'Dickens suggests that feminine compassion is necessary to restore social harmony' is an incomplete statement. Talking about Dickens' presentation of compassion in Hard Times, the sentence given by Spark Notes is incomplete, perpetrating sexist claptrap. It is horrendously slanted, ignoring that compassion is necessary regardless of gender in order for a society to function with sufficient care, to not lose out on 'the heart'.
Spark Notes fails to account for the importance to the structure of Hard Times’ class archetypes of Gradgrind finally learning the necessity of the 'heart', and its inclusion of 'fancy', as opposed to an industrialist society focused merely on the tagline 'fact, fact, fact', where Utilitarianism is taken out of the initial suggestion and used instead for selfish self-advancement, regardless of the pain of the 'hands', or the lack of 'love' which only Sissy and her circus family (a marginalised part of society) show from their very introduction. A warning, certainly: let us not rely upon Spark Notes’ oversights. (Far too dull, anyway, for essay fodder!)
Do not read Spark Notes... make your own notes, or read some decent criticism of the text...