"It is what it is."
I'm hearing this phrase everywhere these days. It seems to be almost like a verbal 'tic' that has caught on and is being used in all sorts of situations. Typically I hear it in reference to a situation that isn't perfect but well ... what can you do? There is something about the phrase that bothers me. I think it sounds a bit 'defeatist' to me.
Having a disability means being in lots of situations where things aren't perfect, in fact things are way far from perfect. Both one dimensional attitudes and three dimensional barriers constantly get in the way. I'm always having to choose to let things lay or 'play through' and protest. I read other bloggers with disabilities, I read other bloggers who have children with disabilities and I discover a whole world where 'it is what it is' simply is not acceptable.
I think it's easy to grow into laziness with the struggle for disability rights. So many people simply don't get why we demand access, why we aren't happy with the little bits of adaptions given us haphazardly by government or with resistance from retailers and with complete ignorance by architects and designers. So many people think we are a drain on the public purse, all of them forgetting that we too are 'public'. Often we receive pity, which is simply malice dressed up in a Halloween princess costume. Yet pity is supposed to be good enough. It is what it is, alright ... and what it 'is' pisses me off.
So I hereby suggest an alternative phrase for those of us who still are up for a bit of a fight: It is what it isn't yet.