It recently came to my attention that someone was very furious with my article “I love being a woman.” So furious, in fact, that they wrote an essay on why my opinion was wrong.

The reason why we women are not allowed to express how much we love our femininity is because society constantly says, “What about men?” This is the reality of the patriarchy — we women can’t even appreciate what we love about ourselves without being criticized.

Nowhere in my article did I say men couldn’t be feminine, wear pastel colors, or dresses. But the article wasn’t about men. It was about why I loved being a woman. It was an article to appreciate the beauty of being a woman because we are constantly pressured to change and restrict ourselves.

We should be allowed to freely discuss womanhood without people crying that we are misandrists for not including men in the conversation. And it infuriates me, a feminist, when someone tells me that my appreciation of women is flawed. 

In my article, I appreciate women’s bodies, and how we come in all shapes, sizes, and races. The writer of the response to my article, Elena Bachmann, argued that I was stereotyping and sexualizing women by associating them with beauty. I fail to see how appreciating the beauty of women is sexualizing the female body. Women are constantly picked apart by society. There is nothing wrong with trying to take back our power and see the beauty that lies in being a woman.

I am disappointed, yet not surprised, that someone has such a strong opinion about my love for womanhood. Bachmann taking my words and twisting them negatively sheds light on the stereotype that uplifting women somehow tears men down.

If you don’t agree with what I said in the article, that’s fine, because the article isn’t about you. It’s about what I, Nadia Pentolino, love about being a woman. You may not love heels, dresses, or make-up. You may not love pastel colors or calling each other “queen.” That’s perfectly fine. These are aspects of my own womanhood that I love, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Bachmann has done nothing but act as though femininity is a terrible thing, just because not all women portray themselves as feminine. There are many expressions of womanhood, and all of them are valid. One of these expressions is femininity, and women should not be shamed for liking it.

I’m sorry if anyone felt offended by my little article about loving women. I would like to remind Bachmann and everyone reading this that the article is my personal opinion, and therefore you do not have to agree with it. But it doesn’t mean that my opinion is wrong.

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