You are not wrong. But, when you say anything in any place, especially on Internet, you invite opinions. A photograph is an expression of the photographer but an impression belongs to the viewer. Two of them are often not in sync no matter how carefully you frame the image. I don't know which image of you are talking about or who you are referring to as respected female member. But it all boils down to this. If you don't want anyone with harsh and different opinion to comment, don't post your images. Not because you are wrong, but because you have no control over what that person or anyone else might say about your images or even you.
Yes, it bothers me deeply when someone comments so harshly and especially when those comments basically amounts to personal attacks. The Internet has brought all of us an ability to say what we want, freely, and not assume any personal responsibilities.
I agree about the internet part, I guess I just thought that APUG had a more respectful crowd since we are mostly artists, but I guess perhaps I'm wrong about that too.