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Fixed perspective is a descriptive term for activist strategies which challenge only selected double standards within society. This approach keeps the viewpoints of activists fixed or unmoving, as it does not accommodate different points of view. Trans activist and academic Julia Serano coined the term in her book “Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive.”
Fixed perspective activism can manifest in different ways. Single-issue activism, which fights for one issue or group, is one example. Feminism, which fights for the rights of women, falls into this category. Activism driven by the belief that a system functions in a specific way or only impacts a particular group, without challenging or investigating this belief, is another example of fixed perspective activism.
Serano argues that fixed perspective activism negatively impacts some marginalized group by benefiting others. For example, transgender activism which works to “shatter the gender binary” overlooks the struggles cisgender women who fit into the gender binary face. She criticizes people who are concerned by some double standards but overlook other inequalities and argues for a more holistic approach to activism which challenges a wide range of double standards and works to correct them all.
Serano also feels fixed perspective activism views the world in black and white terms, where expressions of gender or sexuality are either right or wrong, or moral or immoral. Because of this, fixed perspective activism can be as damaging and restrictive as the mainstream society activism seeks to rail against. She argues that the real world has more metaphorical shades of gray, and that the most effective activism should consider this.
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