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Lindemann as a symptom of a systemic problem – Munich probably draws consequences before concert


Highlights: Allegations of sexual assault against Rammstein singer Till Lindemann go beyond the metal band. Patriarchal structures permeate the entire music industry. The groupie life is deliberately romanticized to this day, which is why many of the women are said to have been unaware of the danger they were exposed to. Even if accusations that are even true still have hardly any consequences for perpetrators, writes Jürgen Schulte-Brockhoff in an article for Die Welt.

The allegations of sexual assault against Rammstein singer Till Lindemann go beyond the metal band. Patriarchal structures permeate the entire music industry.

Frankfurt – Sexual assaults with system: These are the allegations against Rammstein singer Till Lindemann. According to research by the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the NDR, young women are said to have been introduced to him at concerts. Some of the alleged victims are said to have been drugged and sexually harassed by the singer.

After numerous media reports about the allegations, the band posted a second statement on Instagram on Friday. "The allegations have hit us all very hard and we take them extremely seriously," it said, among other things. Rammstein also ask their fans not to prejudge the alleged victims. "They have a right to their point of view," it says. The post is rounded off with the sentence: "We, the band, also have a right – namely not to be prejudged either." There is nothing to be read about a possible reappraisal of the allegations.

In what Rammstein here call "prejudgement", others see the need to take those affected seriously and to listen to them. A development that is still relatively new and can serve to finally clean up the music industry. Or at least try. The allegations against Lindemann are only the latest symptom of a systemic problem in the music industry.

Allegations against Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann: It's the patriarchy, dumbass

Abuse of power happens wherever attention, status and power play a role. This gives rise to classic patriarchal structures. In music, these not only lead to misconduct. The latter is even actively rewarded and kept alive by the actors. The groupie life is deliberately romanticized to this day, which is why many of the women are said to have been unaware of the danger they were exposed to at Rammstein parties, according to the SZ's research.

This also ensures that accusations that are even true still have hardly any consequences for perpetrators. One almost wishes that the "cancel culture" propagated by conservatives and other right-wingers is not a culturally militant conceit.

Rammstein singer Till Lindemann. © Imago

David Bowie, Mick Jagger or, most recently, Marilyn Manson. They all celebrate successes to this day, despite partly proven relationships with minors or other allegations. Even posthumously. At least R. Kelly shows that sometimes there are consequences. Last year, the US rapper was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual abuse of minors. However, the allegations against him have been around since the 90s.

Allegations against Rammstein singer: Till Lindemann fantasizes about rape

Certainly, the accusations are less surprising with a band like Rammstein. For example, Lindemann sometimes fantasizes about rape in his lyrics, even if he hides behind a lyrical ego. "I like to sleep with you when you sleep," he writes in one of his poems, and continues: "A little Rohypnol in the wine (a little Rohypnol in the glass) / Can't move at all / And you sleep / It's a blessing". True, the lines are covered by artistic freedom. However, the fact that critics were regularly confronted with angry Rammstein fans is also a feature of the power structures from which stars benefit.


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However, it would be a mistake to believe that abuse of power, sexism and assaults are limited only to big stars or relevant scenes. That these structures are only present in stadium-filling rock bands or sexist metal groups. In the same way, such cases and structures also exist in smaller subgenres or in scenes that present themselves as socially progressive.

Patriarchal structures in the music industry: Fortunately, punk is dead

For example, punk has never been as socially advanced as propagated and is therefore fortunately dead. In 1978, Virgin Records released then-Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious on bail after he was arrested as a prime suspect in the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The next day, he died of a heroin overdose; he probably took his own life.

Even in niches such as the metalcore or hardcore scenes, which are generally considered left-wing and feminist, there are accusations against bands every few weeks. Last year, it also hit a woman. Booka Nile, the keyboardist of the Australian metalcore band "Make Them Suffer", had to leave the band when she was accused of sexual assault as a result of a previous affair.

Despite allegations: Many fans stand by Rammstein singer Till Lindemann

Many fans are sticking to Lindemann at the moment; the presumption of innocence applies. And yes, of course it also applies to him. However, this does not absolve him of the accusations. Even if it were to come to trial and he would be acquitted, acquittal does not mean innocence.

The alleged perpetrators are often acquitted due to lack of evidence. This is also the case with the metalcore band "Bring Me the Horizon". In 2007, the members allegedly harassed a female fan. When she allegedly rejected advances from singer Oliver Sykes, he is said to have urinated on her and another member of the band threw a glass bottle at her head, whereupon she was injured. Despite witness testimony, the case was dismissed for lack of evidence. Sexual assault is often difficult to prove.

The oldest incidents from the Rammstein research are said to have taken place in 2019. The fact that those allegedly affected often only speak out when a person demonstrates it, as the Irishwoman Shelby L. did last week, shows what kind of pressure these structures can build. After all, according to media reports, there will probably be no "Row-Zero" at the Munich Rammstein concerts in the coming days. This is the name given to the area directly on the stage from which, according to allegations, young women would be chosen for the backstage parties. However, this will certainly not be able to dissolve the structures. (Baha Kirlidokme)

Sexual assaults are not uncommon in the cultural scene. Chairwoman of the Themis trust office, Eva Hubert, talks about the difficult resistance and legal loopholes in the industry. (kbi)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-06-06

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