My booty is still sore from my last ride, but it’s time for me to get on that high horse yet again.

I recently watched Straight Outta Compton (I know, I know… I’m late to the game)… While I found the story of these men interesting and appreciated the acting to a degree, I have to admit that due to the depiction of the women in this movie, I lost my proverbial hard-on for a month.

If anyone is going to call attention to the fact that minorities are often misrepresented, stop blatantly and unapologetically depicting women as your cum socks. It seems every misrepresented minority is entitled to righteous indignation about being stereotyped or belittled, except for women.

If we do, we obviously don’t understand the world of the movie, we’re called feminist crybabies, or much, much worse.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand many films endeavor to tell a story set in a generally misogynistic environment (The Wolf of Wall Street comes to mind), but it’s not just limited to the world of the movie, in my opinion.

It almost seems as if the director stops the action of the film and steps outside the narrative to sophomorically ogle, fetishize, and objectify a luscious (conveniently vapid) piece of female flesh, momentarily taking part in the characters’ lewd behavior and sharing a smug laugh with the audience (at the woman’s expense) before pulling back out to focus on the male-centered storyline.

By making our bodies and our sexuality a punchline, we are blatantly excluded from the fun, and it seems we always have been.

From the National Lampoon movies, to American Pie, and even the cartoon franchises, women are either supermodel cock trophies, physically flawless ass-kicking machines, or sweet, asexual wives pregnant at home, unwittingly literally sitting on a ticking bomb our hero needs to disarm fast, dude.

Why does it seem so hard for our culture to grasp the concept that women are not simply one characteristic?

Why must we be cast as a Madonna, a whore, a selfless mother, a sexual object of desire, an endearing manic pixie dream girl with absolutely no character arc except quirkily supporting the male protagonist, or a sheltered childhood sweetheart whose virginity it seems the duty of the male lead to preserve until he finally frees up enough time to do the honors himself?

Can we finally agree that women are fully actualized human beings (shocker) who have personalities, varying moods, demons, talents, motives, and attributes beyond tits and ass?

I remember watching Three’s Company when I was little. I hardly remember a single plot line, but I do remember finding myself routinely persuaded to root for an everyman to have casual sex with some braless, lip-gloss-wearing, two-dimensional guest star bimbo by (at least) the end of the episode whom we would, as an audience, never hear from again. Again, I ask you, wtf is that?

As a child, I innately felt an epic, stomach-dropping need for love, protection and consistency, and I remember it was terrifying to know (from these seemingly innocuous examples) that one day nature would force me to transition from a little girl (the object of a man’s fraternal/paternal protection and affection) to a sexual object that could be used and easily discarded by that same gender just because my body had taken on a natural but very different form. The inevitable abandonment was heartbreaking.

Why do carelessly strewn, dead-eyed, topless female bodies, limply swaying or jiggling to a dubbed-in soundtrack like nearsighted zombies with pesky cases of poisoned oak represent that a man is winning?

I understand that some men are comfortably familiar with women as sexual objects, and that is an effective way to manipulate a mostly male audience that their protagonist has somehow made it simply by being at the center of such gratuitous eroticism. But to the filmmakers, I call bullshit.

There is a painting by the French artist Andre Masson; it is the fragmented body of nude woman with no head and no limbs and the suggestion of a severed leg. It’s a disturbing yet beautiful piece, and it’s even stranger that when I look at the painting, the evidence of pain and destruction on the body doesn’t even register immediately; the first thing your eye goes to is her intact, beautiful breast, waist and hips. Apparently this painting was based on Masson’s experiences in World War I, but I see it from a different perspective. It is a woman’s body. It is our body. It is exposed as usual. It is intrinsically beautiful. It is a defense mechanism, it is as impersonal and as dehumanized as a piece of armor… but it’s hurt.

Am I a feminist? I suppose so. Because I am a humanist, and women are some of the most generous, supportive, honest, and achingly vulnerable humans I know. But I’m over seeing women’s bodies as decoration, whether in storytelling or in actuality.

Again, I beseech every one of us to take back the power of our complicated, flawed, miraculous, lived-in, loved-in, hot as f*ck bodies, and make every call from a place of authentic guidance and truth.

It’s a gorgeous body into which we’ve been born. It’s been an arduous evolution growing into it with self-respect, emotional grace, pain, soul and effort. Let’s be the first to start treating her as such.