Ashley Judd attends Ashley Judd in Conversation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at the United Nations on March 14, 2012 in New York City. Credit: Dario Cantatore/Getty Images

Ashley Judd is not pleased.

The actress, 43, was the subject of plastic surgery speculation last month when she stepped out with a noticeably fuller face. And although the Missing star's rep already shot down those rumors, explaining that Judd is taking medication for a serious sinus infection, Judd wrote a lengthy diatribe Monday on the Daily Beast decrying the chatter about her appearance.

"The conversation [about my face] was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day," Judd writes, adding that the debate is "really about" what she calls "the assault on [women's] body image."

The daughter of singer Naomi Judd and the sister of Wynonna blames "the patriarchy" for perpetuating "this abnormal obsession with women's faces and bodies. . . [We] have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly."

By making her opinions known, the Kentucky native (who earned a Master's in Public Administration at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2010) says she hopes she "can generate a new conversation."

"It doesn't matter if [women] are aging naturally or resorting to surgical assistance," Judd shares. "We all experience brutal criticism."

PHOTOS: Hollywood feuds

Tell Us: What do you think of Judd's earnest op-ed?