Thursday, January 19, 2017
Blog post #1 - Eva de Haan
My name is Eva de Haan, and I am at UCLA for the winter quarter on an exchange. I go to University College Maastricht, a small liberal arts college in the South of the Netherlands. I major in sociology there, and I am in my junior year. Having grown up in Amsterdam, I have been emerged in the LGBTQ community ever since I can remember. Moving to Maastricht for college was a big change for me, as Maastricht is a more conservative place and much less culturally diverse. I am taking this class to get to know Los Angeles in a different way. I am only here for a quarter so I want to explore as many sides of this city as I can. I would also be interesting to see if any comparisons can be drawn between LA and Amsterdam, cities that seems so vastly different on the surface.
What stood out to me from the readings from the book Gay L.A. was de difference in the treatment of women and men when it came to homosexuality and transgender issues. It is described that men often suffered harsher, more severe, consequences. In the early times, women dressing as men was less of an issue than men dressing up as women. Gender-bending males in the early 20th century were often convicted much more severely than women, who were regarded as amusing. Lesbianism was also less of a crime than male homosexuality. It is mentioned that one reason for this could be that women were less likely to find themselves in public places like bathrooms or parks. Another reason mentioned is that law makers simply did not take lesbianism seriously, as sexual pleasure for women without a man present seemed unlikely. This idea still exists today, with many men not knowing how lesbian sex can be pleasurable. The lack of knowledge about the female body makes it that many people sex only means penetration, when in fact penetration is for women often less exciting than other aspects of sexual activity.