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Book Review

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Julie Suk, After Misogyny: How the Law Fails Women and What to Do About It (2023).

Julie Suk’s ambitious book, After Misogyny: How the Law Fails Women and What to Do About It, contributes to a feminist literature on equality and care spanning centuries and national boundaries, yet offers timely diagnoses and prescriptions for the United States at a very particular moment. That “moment” includes being four years into the COVID-19 pandemic and over one year into the post-Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey world wrought by Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. That moment also includes a sense that transformative political and constitutional change are necessary but difficult because (as Suk and Kate Shaw recently noted) Americans have “lost the habit and muscle memory of seeking formal constitutional change” —and because of problems like polarization, gerrymandering, and restrictions on voting. Drawing on her expertise in comparative constitutional law and gender equality, Suk offers “comparative lessons” from feminist lawmaking and constitutionalism elsewhere to help move the U.S. to a democratic constitutionalism that is post-patriarchy and post-misogyny. (Pp. 212-14.) In this review, I explore some of those lessons concerning governmental commitments to supporting care and gender equality and to fostering reproductive justice.

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