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Police cadet fired for dominatrix past

by Alyssa Daley - Editor-In-Chief
Tue, Apr 10th 2018 09:00 pm
photo taken from nypost
photo taken from nypost

Unfortunately, the society we live in was founded on the right for heterosexual, cisgendered, white, affluent, middle-aged men to flourish while everyone else struggles to get out from under some form of oppression, whether it be because of their gender, sexual orientation or race. This has manifested in the workplace and the division in who lives on or under the poverty line. If you haven’t heard of the #METOO movement or its successor, Time’s Up, then sadly, you’ve been living under a rock. 

Essentially these two movements have created space for women and men but mostly women to come forward and give voice to the sexual harassment and discrimination they face everyday in the workplace. These movements have influenced Hollywood, professional sports and the general public. Even though women, who were largely never listened to before, were encouraged to come forward, the movements have failed to create any long-lasting change.

Another headline surfaced in early February of a year-old case regarding a female police cadet being forced out of the department  due to being a dominatrix in the past. Obviously, there’s a lot of stigma surrounding what a dominatrix is, so here is the given definition according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “a woman who physically or psychologically dominates her partner in a sadomasochistic encounter.” The term can also refer broadly to a dominating woman.

Anyway, this woman’s name was Kristen Hyman and she was a 31-year-old when all of this happened in 2017. Initially it was stated that she was suspended as a Hudson County sheriff’s officer in May when her bosses learned of her past and was subsequently accused of not being truthful on her application for the job, as well as being an embarrassment to the force. Hyman’s side of the story, however, is completely different. As stated by The Post in a motion for dismissal, Hyman’s lawyer said the real reason for her suspension from the force was that she has had to fend off the sexual advances of 70-year-old attorney for the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, Robert Pompliano.

“Mr. Pompliano made a sexual advance against my client, touched her, kissed her, and she rebuffed him,” wrote lawyer Doug Anton in a motion letter, according to The Post. “For that he has jumped all over this opportunity to get her fired.”

Not only was Hyman suspended even though she was the victim in this situation, but according to her lawyer, she wasn’t even the only one to be sexually harassed by Pompliano. This doesn’t make what happened to Hyman any worse because no matter what, she shouldn’t have to deal with some sleazy old dirtbag molesting her, especially in a place that she cannot leave, but it does discredit the claim that the only reason he was acting this way was because of her past. 

To clarify what her “dominatrix” past was, Hyman was an aspiring actress in her 20's when, according to insideedition.com, someone mentioned the opportunity to create these underground-type films that did not include nudity. 

“I thought it would be fun and interesting and it was interesting,” she said in an interview with insideedition.com.

So not only was she in these films where she plays the scripted role of a dominatrix, but she was in control of the entire situation and the only reason the police force found out about this brief tangent of her life was because of a jealous ex-boyfriend. All around, Hyman was unjustly painted and her reputation and well-being were being tarnished and endangered because a bunch of egotistical men had been dealt a blow to their fragile masculinity. Instead of doing the right thing, which is to simply move on, both Hyman’s ex and Pompliano acted out like ignorant, narcissistic two-year-olds.

In the beginning of this article I mentioned how oppression manifests itself in who lives on and below the poverty line. Low and behold, across all age groups from under 18 to 75 years old, women make up the higher percentage living in poverty, according to statistics gathered in 2016 on statista.com. I’m mentioning this because the less options a person has because of their financial situation, the more likely it is they will turn to sex work, whether that be prostitution, stripping or acting in porn films. Based on these statistics, women have less money and therefore, less options than men. 

It is important to note that Hyman doesn’t fall into this category. She was not a sex worker, but she still had the autonomy to choose whether or not she wanted to act in the films that she produced and she wasn’t doing it for the monetary value. Sex slavery can be the exchange of sexual acts for money for survival or addiction under the control of someone else, and that is not what Hyman was doing. Making these films was the way she went about trying something new and ultimately figuring out what direction she wanted her life to go in.

The point is that not only is this police force victim blaming and acting as though someone’s past jobs tell all about them as a person, but they are also acting on the belief that she had a choice in performing in underground films. Even if she did love it, the force had no right to discriminate against her for it, especially when it should have fired that revolting attorney from his position with the department. The fact is that she worked hard and earned her position as a police officer and the department took that away from her without any solid ground to do so.

stylus@brockport.edu

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