Saskatoon-based singing trio Rosie & the Riveters is gaining international attention for a new song and video in support of the #Metoo movement.
The song I Believe You was written by band members Alexis Normand, Allyson Reigh and Farideh Olsen.
The video for it premiered on billboard.com on Thursday. The song also appeared on Spotify Canada's new music Friday playlist.
"I think it just really speaks to the gravity of the situation and the importance of the message we're sending," said Reigh. "This message is so much bigger than our band and it's a message that we hope is healing for survivors and we hope that people who need to hear it are the ones who hear it especially."
It doesn't matter what you were wearing, it doesn't matter any of those things. The responsibility for an assault lies with the person who committed the assault.- Allyson Reigh, band member
The band is donating all proceeds from digital streaming and sales of the single to organizations that support survivors of sexual assault. In Canada, the band has formed a partnership with the YWCA which offers legal counselling, support in court and housing initiatives for sexual assault victims.
Reigh said the idea for the song came up when the band sat down to write their latest record in 2016, before the #Metoo movement went viral, and decided it was one of the political messages they wanted to send.
She said each member of the band has memories of feeling awkward, uncomfortable and even unsafe as a woman.
As a move of solidarity, one line in the song says, "You're not alone. I've been there."
"We're talking about sexual assault in the song but we're also talking about sexual harassment and people not understanding no means no," she said. "Someone asked me on a date and I very politely declined.
"He threw a drink on me and he grabbed my arm very strongly and was shaking me. So for me, that was an example of something innocuous that turned very scary, very quickly."
The song also condemns those who ask victims what they were wearing, why there were at a certain location or why they left their house at a certain time of day.
"We're putting the onus and the culpability on the person who experienced the trauma and what we're not doing is questioning the perpetrator, the person who does this terrible action towards someone else," Reigh said, of society. "It's their fault. It doesn't matter what you were wearing, it doesn't matter any of those things.
"The responsibility for an assault lies with the person who committed the assault."
The members of Rosie & the Riveters are working hard to live up to their name. Rosie was not only a symbol that encouraged women to take up jobs outside the home while men were at war, during the second wave of feminism, she was a symbol for women who wanted to continue working despite the soldiers returning.
Reigh said her own grandmother repaired planes during the Second World War and went on to raise five children.
"We take great pride in the fact that we all come from long lines of strong women who subverted gender norms and continued on their own path," she said.
Nearby tour dates:
May 4- Edmonton- The Aviary
May 5- Calgary, Alta.- Ironwood Stage & Grill
May 6- Stettler, Alta.- Stettler Performing Arts Centre
May 11- Saskatoon, Sask.- Third Avenue United Church
May 12- Regina- Artesian on 13th
May 13- Winnipeg- Park Theatre