Washington State University program awards 'FemScout' badges for consuming 'feminist' videos, articles

The women’s center at Washington State University (WSU) facilitates a program called the “FemScouts.”

The FemScouts award participating students with so-called “FemScout badges” while they “strengthen their feminist toolkit.”

Washington State University students can become “FemScouts” through a program aimed at helping them “strengthen their feminist tool kit while earning badges.”

The program, hosted within the Washington State University Women*s Center, invites “all genders” to join FemScouts.

”The activities/units will be developed by the Women*s Center and various departments within Student Affairs especially CEIE that supports equity. FemScouts Troop Leaders will be students that have experience within the Women*s Center, Coalition for Women Students, and/or Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies,” the program webpage states.

According to the university, the topics that are going to be covered during spring 2021 are “Discovering HerStory, Womxn in STEM, Personal Manifesto – Your Healing is Killing Me.

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The FemScouts hope to support the growth of the Radical Monarchs, an organization that

strives to “empower young girls of color so that they stay rooted in their collective power,

brilliance, and leadership in order to make the world a more radical place.”

The Radical Monarchs also offer their participants/members badges, such as “Black Lives Matter badge,” “Radical Pride badge,” “PachaMama Justice Badge,” and a “Radical Cooling Badge.”

”FemScouts participate in multiple activities per badge,” Soph Roemer, a troop leader for the program told Campus Reform.

“These activities include watching videos and documentaries, reading articles, visiting 

websites, using online tools, having discussions, giving presentations, doing further 

research, et,” Roemer said. “We try to give a balance, some badges take at most an hour to complete, not including the discussion afterwards. Some badges can take weeks of 

working outside of meetings with friends, family, or other scouts. All of this content

is free and accessible.”

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When asked what they hoped to achieve through the organization, Roemer said that they want to give students a chance to be the “fantastic feminists they are.”

”Our program tailors it’s goals to each troop and each semester. Many students come to us looking for community and a place to relax, laugh, and be accepted. Some come for education, resources, and ways of thinking. A few come for activism and active work towards social change. We try to give everyone a mix of everything, we give them as many opportunities as we can to learn, be joyous, and be the fantastic feminists they are,” Roemer said. 

”We want our cohorts to be comfortable and confident calling themselves feminists. We want them to feel knowledgeable in feminist politics to feel empowered in their everyday lives,” she added.