It's no secret that J.K. Rowling is a total badass both in real life and on Twitter. And as someone who frequently uses her platform to address the issue of sexism, it's no surprise that she was quick to shut down a mansplainer who told a female author that she didn't really write a book.
When first-time author Laura Kalbag happily shared the news that her book was available for pre-order, she posted what we thought was a pretty non-controversial tweet. "If you missed it: I’ve written a book! It’s coming out very soon, sign up to get it first," Kalbag tweeted, along with a link to order a copy.
But alas, whenever a woman posts about any accomplishment, there's a mansplainer waiting in the wings. In this case, it was a guy named Erik Spiekermann who is a fairly prominent German typographer, according to Glamour.
"Actually, you wrote a text," he tweeted. "It took a few other people & skills to make that into a book."
It's fairly common knowledge that authors do the writing and there are other publishing professionals involved in the process of creating the final product, so Spiekermann's comment was completely condescending and disrespectful.
People were quick to call out Spiekermann, who continued to explain to the world that authors aren't responsible for every step of the process.
Kalbag, who has every right to feel proud about her first book, posted a tweet apologizing for not using what Spiekermann deems the correct phrasing.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, the author said the exchange left her feeling embarrassed.
"If I saw a similar tweet from a man to another woman, I would probably call it mansplaining," she told the outlet. "As others have pointed out, he hasn’t tweeted the same thing to a man who has written a book. I don’t believe Erik chose to nitpick my language consciously because I am a woman, but sometimes our biases can reveal themselves in this way. I’m also aware that English is not his first language, so the tweet may not have come out exactly as he intended. All that said, what he called me out on wasn’t factually correct. In English, we do say 'write a book.' But it still made me question myself. Especially given his standing in the design industry. I felt really embarrassed."
When Rowling got wind of the exchange, she took to Twitter to congratulate Kalbag and assure her that, yes, she wrote a book.
Several hours later another badass author, Roxane Gay, tweeted her support.
After being schooled by the likes of Rowling and Gay, Spiekermann posted an apology.
It's a shame Spiekermann put a completely unnecessary damper on Kalbag's big moment, but we're glad to see that some of the world's best authors have her back.