Earlier this week, author Laura Kalbag took to Twitter to share her excitement over her new book, Accessibility for Everyone. “I’ve written a book!” she tweeted. “It’s coming out very soon.” But in typical internet troll fashion, a man had to step in to mansplain to Kalbag that she had not, in fact, written a book.
Erik Spiekermann, a designer and typographer, said to Kalbag in a since-deleted tweet, “Actually, you wrote a text. It took a few other people & skills to make that into a book,” offering a perfect example of the kind of BS women on the internet are forced to deal with. Say it with us now: UGH!
This example of Twitter mansplaining was so egregious that author J.K. Rowling acutally stepped in to defend and congratulate Kalbag.
Congratulations on writing your first book, Laura. Other people edited, copyedited, proofread, printed and bound it. You wrote. Be proud x— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 19, 2017
Sisterhood is powerful!
Even though his tweet was obnoxious, Kalbag responded with an apology, quickly making an attempt to fix her alleged “gaffe.”
Sorry, I’m so new, I’m still learning the correct language. Nothing I wrote, let alone the book, would be worthwhile without other people.— Laura Kalbag (@laurakalbag) August 18, 2017
Clearly, as a first-time author, she didn’t want to make a misstep. That’s understandable, but only if she’d made an actual mistake, which, for the record, she hadn’t.
Seeing Kalbag’s response, many other people, in addition to Rowling — who knows a thing or two about trolls on Twitter — stepped up to defend Kalbag.
this tweet is such a breathtakingly perfect textbook ACTUALLY that I'm almost impressed pic.twitter.com/BWVT083JJW— Leah Reich (@ohheygreat) August 19, 2017
someone excitedly announced they wrote a book and this person said "actually, you wrote a text" lololol what's it like to be like this https://t.co/KQC5IQC3GC— vinyl richie (@jennschiffer) August 19, 2017
Why? Just, why?— Jacques Favreau (@betaorbust) August 19, 2017
Literally *zero* people read that & thought she was including any book making tasks beyond the colloquial use of authorship.
“Bad Feminist” author Roxane Gay even offered her support.
You absolutely wrote a book. And congratulations on the accomplishment.— roxane gay (@rgay) August 19, 2017
Right on, people of Twitter!
Kalbag did something many people dream of — she successfully wrote a book. She has every right to be happy about such an accomplishment. No one deserves to have a stranger take away their moment over something trivial.
It seems like Spiekermann learned his lesson, though — after getting hundreds of clapback tweets, he did reach out to Kalbag and apologize.
Erik apologised to me and feels bad about it. Let’s move our focus back to fighting authoritarian governments and systemic inequality!— Laura Kalbag (@laurakalbag) August 19, 2017
That’s nice, but maybe keep your man-splanations to yourself next time.