Proper Screening or Blatant Misogyny? | Female Cop’s Dominatrix Past Could Cost Her Her Job.

Cops haven’t been on their best behaviour in most recent years. With a number of cases where they have open fire on unarmed civilians and accusations of brutality across the board, those who have sworn to protect and serve are under the microscope more than ever—and rightfully so. In light of these indiscretions, victim’s families, politicians, community leaders and protesters alike have not only demanded reactive justice but proactive justice—such as stricter, more thorough background checks. After all, improper “extracurricular activities” can bleed into their day jobs and that can then lead to unnecessary bloodshed.

But is there a such thing as too much digging? If not, then is there a such thing as overreacting to what you find?


Officer Kristen Hyman.


Some may feel that that is the case with Hudson County sheriff’s officer Kristen Hyman—who has recently been accused of conduct unbecoming a public employee. It turns out Hyman, who is facing a disciplinary hearing on June 27th, spent 2010-2012 as a dominatrix. Suspended just six days before her academy graduation, Hyman now admits that the woman is the video is her and explains that the videos were just ‘stupid stuff I did when I was a kid’. But what she failed to initially admit is ‘that she appeared in the films and sometimes saw clients privately for money’ and that is the real reason why she was the suspended.


Hyman punt kicking a man in his testicles.

Hyman leg-locking a man and pushing him under water.


Nonetheless, one has to consider whether or not Hyman’s kinky past is really that much of a big deal. Hyman was never nude in the videos nor did she perform any sexual acts on camera. She mainly just inflicted consensual violence on men who fancied BDSM. Now, there is the argument that the “violent” nature of her past occupation could reflect on (and somehow corrupt) the way that she conducts herself during her current occupation as a police officer. The department could just be doing its job by weeding out officers that may be overly aggressive—but it still seems like an odd time for departments to start doings their jobs properly when it comes to screening their employees. Sheriff Frank Schillari, whose face is plastered twice over on the department’s website, was documented saying that Hyman ‘is not entitled’ to be an officer and her past as a dominatrix is a threat to the department’s integrity.

However, there are always different ways to examine this kind of ordeal. There is a possibility that Hyman is only undergoing such scrutiny and reprimand because she is a woman. Not only was she not naked, performing any sexual acts or using her real name, according to New York State law (look it up!), being a dominatrix or soliciting a dominatrix is legal. Hyman may have been getting “handsy” and “slap happy” but there was no sexual contact, therefore she was within her rights to do so. A judge thought the same and decided to rescind her suspension on June 8th, but Hyman’s job security is still at risk.

It’s easy to giggle at the scandalousness of it all, “tsk tsk” at her risqué life choices and ask, “what was she thinking?” but this story may just be providing us with the opportunity to ask less obvious, more effective questions—questions that may reveal how we as a society contend with women and their sexuality.

Could her kinky proclivities just be irrelevant gossip used to shame her unnecessarily? Could it be that the patriarchy within the department is just unsettled by a woman’s willingness to deviate from sexual norms? If so, what does that have to do with Hyman’s ability to do her job?


Is this thorough screening of a public servant or a case of petty gender politics?


About the Author
Akeem K. Duncan.

Akeem K. Duncan.

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Akeem is our Editor in Chief. A writing ogre and profuse sweater, he is responsible for the daily function and overall voice of Quiet Lunch. He also a poet and curator. He has read at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, KGB Bar, Lovecraft and SHAG--with works published in Palabra Luminosas and LiVE MAG13. He has also curated solo and group exhibitions at numerous galleries in Chelsea, Harlem, Bushwick and Lower Manhattan.