It started with a cinnamon roll recipe.
Well, not just any old cinnamon roll recipe. Specifically, a recipe attached as a fun “p.s.” at the end of a letter apologizing for repeated sexual misconduct from the desk of celebrity chef Mario Batali.
The apology, issued in December and still online as part of Batali’s newsletter, consisted of six sentences and ended with a link to his “fan favorite” pizza dough cinnamon rolls, which writer Geraldine DeRuiter wittily replicated. Because, c’mon, if a man accused of sexual misconduct attaches dessert instructions at the end of his apology, he’s almost asking you to make fun of him about it in order to keep yourself from permanently rolling your eyes into the back of your head, right?
DeRuiter, known for her award-winning travel blog Everywhereist, absolutely killed that recipe and her resulting post. Titled “I Made the Pizza Cinnamon Rolls From Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Apology Letter” and published on Jan. 10, DeRuiter detailed her process of making the dough, rolling the pastries, and frosting the rolls, all the while sharing her own experiences with misbehaved men like Batali.
DeRuiter starts with making her own dough, instead of buying the pre-made sort: “I’m a woman, and for us there are no fucking shortcuts.”
She rolls the dough out, but is missing directions: “The result will be sub-par because he hasn’t provided all the information, and I will blame myself.”
She bastes butter and sprinkles cinnamon sugar over the flattened dough, all the while getting trolled on Twitter and recalling the time a producer made a dehumanizing comment about her body while she handed out pieces of cake as an intern at a local news station. And the time another producer inappropriately touched her lap. And the time the person she tried to negotiate compensation with demanded to know why she needed the money.
Between her step-by-step process and the review of her life, DeRuiter’s recipe walkthrough is the perfect metaphorical embodiment of being a working woman, or any woman, for that matter. Of being someone in the #MeToo era who has one, two, infinitely too many stories to tell, and yet, must still deal with the realization that apologies from men like Batali are about as satisfying as digging your teeth into a crunchy, erection-y cinnamon roll.
Everything about DeRuiter’s piece screamed of success—the internal, witty monologue, the shitty resulting rolls that she nonetheless ate out of resentment, the more than 500 comments that have been left on the post since it went viral it last week. But of course, the internet wouldn’t let DeRuiter hold onto the glory of besting a man who’s admitted to sexual misconduct. Not for long.
On the morning of Jan. 13, DeRuiter found herself logged out of her Twitter account.
“I knew something was amiss right away, and honestly, I just felt my stomach drop,” DeRuiter told the Daily Dot.
For 36 hours, it seemed a hacker had gained control of DeRuiter’s account. In that time, someone had locked DeRuiter out, tweeted out a racist slur, then deleted her entire tweet history. Being that DeRuiter uses her social media to promote her work to more than 55,000 followers, her hacker had all but destroyed a hugely valuable outlet.
Across Twitter, other writers and friends of DeRuiter’s flagged that she had been possibly hacked, many of them reaching out to their own contacts at Twitter. Others believed the hack was connected to DeReuiter’s clearly effective viral post, showing just how vulnerable women are to being attacked for speaking up. She found the support “overwhelming” as the internet attempted to make noise over her compromised account.
.@everywhereist writes a feminist blog post that goes viral.— Lauren Modery (@Hipstercrite) January 15, 2018
Her Twitter account gets hacked & all her tweets are deleted.
This is why it's difficult to voice your opinion as a woman–you will be attacked for speaking up.
DeRuiter’s personal exchanges with Twitter, however, weren’t so righteous. DeRuiter said that in attempting to get her account back, Twitter told her that because she was emailing them from an email address not associated with the account, they couldn’t help her.
This is awful. The brilliant @everywhereist—last seen making Mario Batali's apology cinnamon rolls in last week's viral post—had her account hacked. @TwitterSupport won't help her.— Doug Mack (@douglasmack) January 15, 2018
And now *all her tweets have been deleted.* https://t.co/9SGdIuZu3X
So, get this: my friend Geraldine DeRuiter wrote a viral feminist article, and her Twitter account (@everywhereist) was hacked. Account password + e-mail changed. When she talked to @TwitterSupport, they claimed they couldn't do anything she wasn't using account-linked e-mail.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 15, 2018
Hey @TwitterSupport – because support seems really unresponsive, and maybe I can help amplify this, my friend Geraldine's account @everywhereist has been hacked. Please at least freeze the account or get in contact with her to work this out.— Jennifer Wright (@JenAshleyWright) January 15, 2018
Twitter even told her it ultimately might not be able to recover her account. She found the process to be “somewhat frustrating.” (The Daily Dot has reached out for comment from Twitter on the matter but hasn’t heard back.)
Despite the initial dead end, DeRuiter’s account was returned to her less than two days later, her tweets still intact. And she sent one last “fuck misogynists” tweet for good measure.
Christ. Who knew that misogynists that would get so worked up over fucking cinnamon rolls?— Geraldine (@everywhereist) January 15, 2018
Thank you to everyone who helped me get this account back.
And in case you need proof it's me: pic.twitter.com/23Sua7IB4c
“I haven’t been hacked like this before and I’m still sort of stunned by it. In the end, it was a minor thing that we were able to resolve, but I was in a panic for about 36 hours,” DeRuiter said. “When you’ve created an account that’s so closely tied to your personal brand, it’s really unnerving to have someone steal that from you.”
Despite the close timing, she’s still not sure if her alleged hacker acted in retaliation to her post, or hacked her account because she’s a visible internet personality.
“Either way, I’ve been telling everyone I know to lock down all of their accounts immediately,” DeRuiter said.