There is no doubt that phenomenology has something to offer to feminist philosophy and analyses of gender. We can see this already in the works of early women phenomenologists, such as Edith Stein and Simone de Beauvoir, as well as in several decades of work by more recent feminist phenomenologists. But who would have thought that Edmund Husserl's concepts of noesis and noema might contribute to contemporary work in feminist, gender, and transgender theories? While some feminist phenomenological work does turn to Husserl—rather than, say, to Maurice Merleau-Ponty or Beauvoir—most often these analyses refer to his work on embodiment (especially Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy [Ideas II] [1989]), his later work on the lifeworld (The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology [1970]), or those of his unpublished manuscripts which deal with questions of intersubjectivity, ethics, and society. In this article, I argue for the usefulness of these two terms, noesis and noema, which are often considered some of Husserl's most problematic—and, if I may say so, most conservative. I begin by providing a brief overview of Husserl's introduction of these terms and what they mean. I then turn to a few later sections in Husserl's Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy, First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology [Ideas I] [1983] in order to explain the nuances of this terminology. Finally, I demonstrate how these complex notions, and the methodology that accompanies them, can be employed in the service of analyses of gender, including transgender.

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