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A pervasive assumption is that nation-states have bounded legal regimes. Yet the burdens imposed on women in the name of gender and sexuality have not been circumscribed by jurisdictional lines. Rather, gender hierarchies have traveled-by way of Roman law, civil law, the common law, and religious systems-to impose constraints on women living under autocracies, republican democracies, and other political forms. The many laws supporting gender inequalities make plain that legal rules internal to a nation-state are often not indigenous to a particular polity but, instead, are regularly shaped by cross-border influences.

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