A strong link appears between the handling of veiled women and that of prostitutes by the French state, as well as an emerging complicity of some secular feminists in accompanying this denial of agency. At an epistemological level, unveiling domination is part of every critical theory.37 We argue that what is happening in France is the translation of a certain kind of domination into a state dogma and its conversion into policy. In this process, a fringe of the feminist movement—which may be labelled as “orthodox secular”—is manipulated into the service of the new state doxa. Here we can see a dynamic similar to the one that manifests itself in what Jasbir Puar38 has identified as “homonationalism” in the United States: the deployment of certain narratives about the supposedly liberal openness of the West towards homosexuality serves to secure the West’s identity. This “moral grammar,” based on a perceived sexual oppression in Muslim countries, is mobilized in order to justify national and international interventions. Both cases exemplify the instrumentalization of certain feminist/queer discourses in order to serve a nationalist agenda that aims at others goals—namely, blaming and criminalizing the undesirable “others,” i.e., immigrants and the poor.
Billaud, Julie; Castro, Julie, “Whores and Niqabées: The Sexual Boundaries of French Nationalism”, in: French Politics, Culture & Society, Volume 31, Number 2, Summer 2013 p. 92