It’s a dream that so many of us secretly harbour: to write a book and see it published. So we can completely understand why Laura Kalbag took to Twitter to share her excitement over her own dream come true, Accessibility for Everyone.
“I’ve written a book,” she announced proudly. “It’s coming out very soon.”
The author was soon flooded with congratulatory messages – but, as ever, the scent of happiness and self-achievement soon piqued the interests of a slumbering social media troll.
Clambering out from beneath his (probably metaphorical) bridge, designer Erik Spiekermann decided to belittle Kalbag’s success using the best tools at his disposal: ingrained misogyny and mansplaining.
“Actually, you wrote a text,” he remarked snidely. “It took a few other people and skills to make that into a book.”
Yes, he really was that obnoxious.
Kalbag’s confidence – as Spiekermann had no doubt intended – was shattered by the comment, and the author responded with an apology.
“Sorry, I’m so new,” she said, “and I’m still learning the correct language. Nothing I wrote, let alone the book, would be worthwhile without other people.”
But, after spotting Kalbag’s response, fellow author JK Rowling decided to step in to defend, congratulate and expertly skewer Spiekermann’s ridiculous argument.
“Congratulations on writing your first book, Laura,” said Rowling. “Other people edited, copy-edited, proof-read, printed and bound it. You wrote it. Be proud.”
And Rowling wasn’t the only member of the #sisterhood to call out Spiekermann’s ignorance and boost Kalbag’s confidence.
Laura, you wrote a book. Period. People helped edit, print, copyright the book, but you wrote the book. Don't let anyone take your joy away.— Sara Soueidan ? (@SaraSoueidan) August 19, 2017
While Spiekermann has done his best to defend his actions (“You’d be surprised how little most other people know about it. I write, design, set & print books, so I know.”), he has since deleted the original tweet.
It’s also worth pointing out that Spierkemann actually lists writing books as one of the things that he does for a living, so make of that what you will.
Images: Rex Features