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One Color
by Neil Hilborn and Renee Schminkey
My school was fairly progressive
They even taught contraception in our sex-ed class
When I was 14, my dad handed me a box of condoms and said, You
know how to use these right?
We were taught which preventive methods were the most effective
I was in Texas, so Dads with shotguns
And where to go if something broke, what to take, how to fix this
mess youve gotten yourself in
We were taught about herpes and gonorrhea and Syphilis and how to
keep all your fluids to yourself
My friends taught me which clinics wouldnt tell my parents
Which ones handed out free condoms
But I was never taught that there were worse things that could
happen than a baby or a disease
Yeah, we learnt about roofies
We learnt how to respect when a woman says No
We learnt about protecting your drink, carrying a pepper spray
We learnt what to do when a woman is assaulted
But not that this could happen to me.
I was a virgin when I was raped for the first time
When it happened to me it was 10 A.M. and my parents were home
My textbook hadnt described the way I wouldnt even try to
fight
There was no paragraph on how to stop him/her without
making a scene
There was no worksheet for how to stop him without waking up my
sleeping parents
There was no correct answer to her threats of suicides when I wasnt in
the mood
There was no manual for the polite victim
You know, it wasnt like they said it would be
I was sober, he was sober
We were seventeen/fifteen
They didnt teach me that I wouldnt know how to protect myself
That my lungs would close up and we would make pretend
husband and wife
Make pretend love
The thing about pretend, is that it flattens everything to one
colour
It makes it too simple
It makes it one syllable and that syllable is always captioned as a Yes
They didnt teach me that I could wanna be with someone but not
always want them, that being curious about sex doesnt mean I was
asking for it.

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What I learned was I was supposed to want it
I was supposed to feel stolen, supposed to feel like less of a human
being
I learnt that if you dont scream, no one will listen to you
They dont write about the ones that got away
I learnt that foundation comes in fourteen different shades
No one wants to hear your skin is changing colours
They only ask how youre doing to hear you say Fine
I learnt that I was supposed to feel fine, We were lovers after
all
And with a love like that, you hardly have to ask right?
I dont want to blame my school
I dont want to blame her
I dont want to blame my church, or my mother or even the boy
We were just children
But this is preventable, so someone must be responsible for
preventing it
We can teach this better
Some paintings are built from a thousand points of colour
If you stand too close, the sunset becomes just a series of red dots
We teach that rape is always a man in an alley
Always a clenched jaw and a closed fist
Always a stained white shirt
But I never used my pepper spray
I never had to worry about an uncle or a locker room
Do not confuse one story for all stories
Do not stare at a red dot and say, The Whole painting is just one
colour.

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KellyFerreira
SOC110
Dr.Seifert
14October,2014
CriticalThinking:OneColor
InthepieceOneColor,aspokenwordpoem,theauthorsNeilHilbornand
ReneeSchminkeyspeakonthesubjectofrapeandsexualeducationatthesecondary
level.Theyutilizethepowerofemotion,personalexperience,andcommonstatisticsand
factsinordertoconveytheirargumentontheineffectivesituationsofthiseducation.
Thoughsomeinthescientificcommunitymayarguethattheeffectivenessofan
argumentcannotbeonthebasisofpersonalexperiences,theliteraryapproachthatthe
twoartistsposewiththepoetryslamprovestobeeffectiveinbearingtheconflictthat
sexualeducationhasposed.However,theargumentdoesnotdomuchtoasserthowto
fixthesituation,whichwouldbeahelpfulpropositioninstrengtheningtheargument.
Ultimately,theworkisasuccessfulpieceinframingtheproblemofthesituationand
creatinggroundsforanargument,butnotinassessingsolutions.
InOneColor,theduobeginsthepiecespeakingonhoweachhadthesituation
ofacomplexsexeducation,thoughnotaneffectiveone.Theyeachspeakofseparate
occasionsofhowtheyreceivedtheeducationNeilHilborn:When I was 14, my
dad handed me a box of condoms and said, You know how to use
these right? Renee Schminkey: We were taught which preventive
methods were the most effective (2013). In this, the tone clearly
shows how each person is dissatisfied with the state of the education.

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Hilborn asserts a dominant, fatherly tone, with underlying sarcasm to
prove how disappointed he was in his father for not enlightening him
on the talk. Schminkey was vaguely impressed by her schools
attempt to inform her and her fellow students on sex, but bored by the
usual education that they received on merely knowing how to
prevent babies and STDs. In hearing these acclamations, I wondered
whether there were grounds of agreement by others at the college-age
level who would agree to having such an experience with sex
education, and if bringing such persons in would strengthen the
argument the duo posed in varying personal experiences.
Further on, they go to relay how each faced a situation of rape,
and how they were not taught the how or why of such a situation
happening. One can hear the pain and disappointment in the voices of
each as they each stated, My textbook hadnt described the way I
wouldnt even try to fight (2013), posing the argumentative point on
how their experiences shape the grounds they have to fight against the
issue. Based on the points of association by the personal experience of
myself and other students questioned within the Daemen community,
it can be assumed that sex education follows the same ideas that
these two poets faced: you arent taught by high school health
educators that rape often occurs between those you may be in a
relationship with, and often dont understand the ideal of consent.
There is not much research gathered in the subject based upon the

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demographic of effective sexual education, so the calculations on the
effectiveness of the argument are made on pure hypothesizing.
Though there is an assumed demographic of college students educated
on the ideas of consent and association with ones rapist (based on the
required education at Daemen College), there does seem to be a lack
thereof such an education at a high school level, which is alarming
considering the average age of loss of virginity is 16.9 for males and
17.4 for females, both high school ages (2014). The duo is valid in their
standings, it seems that the level of education on how to prevent
sexual crises (such as rape) is not what it should be.
Though they dont propose specific solutions to the issue of the
rape education, they do inquire that it can be prevented, through the
assertion of in-tandem voices and the metaphorical use of the idea of
dot painting. They utilize the metaphor to relay how there is not just
one side to the situation of rape cases, that the education needs to be
well rounded and understand that though a situation may have the
same composition, its not all just one color. This metaphor is
literarily strong and sound as a comparison, because it helps the mind
compare the idea to something more comfortable for the mind to
grasp, rather than outright stating the conflict of rape, seeing as how
some people may be discomforted but such a thing.
Ultimately I would find that the argument, on the level of
assessing the lack of outside statistics other than personal accounts, is

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successful in creating the point of improvement of sex education and
understanding of the possibilities of rape. Though the piece was based
solely upon human accounts and personal experiences, they utilize the
emotion being such experiences to show how passionate they are
about the situation. Passion has a way of invoking people to
sympathize and understand an argument, and the pair certainly use
this in provoking a reaction of understanding. I would find it to be
agreeable that the piece One Color, though not statistically inclined,
is a great piece for invoking an understanding for the argument of rape
culture and education and making people aware of the problematic
situation behind it.

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WorksCited
Hilborn,N.,&Schminkey,R.[ButtonPoetry].(2013,September2).OneColor.
Retrievedfromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnSuR3bFWcQ

10surprisingsexstatistics.(2014,January1).RetrievedOctober13,2014,from
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37853719/ns/healthsexual_health/t/surprisingsex
statistics/#.VEGaNtR4ruU