5 Ways to Sift through Controversy and Decide for Yourself

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For the past few weeks, all anyone has wanted to talk about is 50 Shades of Grey. I had conversations about it with my mom, my friends, and my sisters. I also read what everyone else was saying about it online.  It became incredibly clear to me right away that this film caused a divide among women. Going to see the film 50 Shades of Grey had become a topic of controversy. Some forums, like Cosmopolitan Magazine, adopted the film and granted an entire section of their website toward it, advertising the film as a steamy romance. Other forums, however, classified the film as one that glorifies domestic abuse and asked its readers to boycott it. With such opposing ideas floating around all over the media, how do you sift through the controversy and decide the truth for yourself?

1. Do Your Research

Make sure that the sources you use are not just opinions, but rather opinions backed up by facts. If you have difficulty discerning what makes something a reliable source, you can always contact your local library and ask for assistance in your research. There is also plenty of advice online for how to research properly.

2. Keep your standards in mind

What is important to you, and what do you stand for? Use these standards to size up the situation. Weigh what you see with what your standards are, and then look at your research and discern whether you have enough information to make a good decision.

3.Determine Objectivity

Opinions are changeable and flighty, but facts and truth are not. Make sure while you complete the first two steps, to be objective in your approach. Distinguish between fact and opinion. Distinguish what is really important to you from what is popular or important to others. Once you are sure that your research and mindset are objective, you are ready for the next step.

4.Take Responsibility Ask yourself what it will mean for you if you jump on this bandwagon of controversy. What will it mean for you if you support this or oppose this cause? What are the consequences of taking your stance, and are you willing to deal with them?

5. Trust your Intuition

In the end, sometimes there can still be areas of uncertainty. It is at this point where trusting your intuition becomes important. Usually we feel a “gut feeling” when it comes to hard issues. After you have completed the above steps, take a leap of faith, and trust it. It will usually lead you to the right place!


 This can be applied to anything from the film 50 Shades of Grey, to choosing a fitness regimen, to heavy matters of politics. There is nothing more empowering than taking the information that is thrown at you, organizing it into something that makes sense, and making the decision for yourself!

About the Author: Norah Kearneyunnamed

I am currently a junior at Webster University of St. Louis, Missouri. I’m working on my BA in English with a focus on creative writing. I plan to use my degree for writing, editing, teaching, or a bit of all three.

Read more from and about the author: Norah’s WiLab Profile