How does the public/private distinction so central to secular-liberal democracy inflect the secular state’s regulation of sex and religion? Focussing on contemporary France, this talk analyzes how political and legal practices aimed at securing secularity by rendering both sex and religion private paradoxically compel Muslim women to reveal in public the innermost details of their sexual and religious lives. That dual incitement to hide and to exhibit, and the grim consequences of exhibiting that which must be hidden, constitute “the cunning of secular power.”
Fernando, Mayanthi, "Regulating Intimacy: Religion, Sex, and Secular Cunning" (2013). Osgoode Colloquium on Law, Religion & Social Thought. 11.