I am always very impressed by the people we interview in The Feminist Shop but this one there is an extra element of WOW, because Seraphina, even if is only 10 years old has a lot of self awareness and important things to say about the world!
Who is Seraphina Malina-Derben, the girl behind the Podcast/Substack “Seraphina Speaks”?
I’m a ten year old feminist who will not accept that because I’m a girl I am worth ‘less than’ boys. It’s a ridiculous idea. But I see this messaging everywhere.
I’m a triplet (number two in birth order) and I’m sandwiched between two brothers. I’m told that although I was the tiniest birth weight I was the strongest physically despite being three months early. Also, I am lucky to be a small sister to seven older siblings. There are ten of us in total.
I’m home educated, diagnosed as gifted, dyslexic, ADHD and dyscalculic. My neurodiversity is a mighty combination.
Why did you decide to start Seraphina Speaks?
I used to sit on Mama’s bed when she started out School for Mothers podcast five years ago. This was before she created a dedicated podcasting space. As I sat watching her set up the kit and listening to her interview people I had this idea about having my own podcast. I didn’t know what it would be on except I knew I had opinions. I’ve always had those.
What is the story behind it?
One day I blurted the question, “Can I have my own podcast like you Mama?”. There was this long silence then she said, “Yes, of course you can do that!”. It started from there.
What is the biggest impact on what you do?
I have to manage the gap between my brain, my heart and the opinions I have and the fact that my dyslexia interrupts getting these out in the world. Being a podcast host brings challenges because although my reading is coming on really well I still couldn’t feel confident to read a script. Producing Seraphina Speaks is long winded for my Mama because of this.
What has been your biggest learning since you started?
To trust my voice. I see that other people only say what they think people want to hear from them. This is a mistake. I put out messages that matter to me and trust that the right people will hear them.
What is the goal?
To build advertising out on Seraphina Speaks and to have even bigger audience across the world. It is a top 5% show. I have to get money in to keep it going or people won’t hear what I have to say.
The big vision of what you would like to achieve?
I believe in the power of podcasting as a way to bring change. As I grow up I want to continue to affect the way people think. I’ve been receiving emails about my recent episodes. Adults listen in and several women told me how my episode onpubic hair here helped heal some of their shame. Isn’t that the best?! I’m ten and helping adults heal wounds.
Being human and treating everyone with respect as a human being.
Which “everyday sexism” really bothers you?
I get annoyed when people patronise me or talk down to me. I have to work out if it’s because I’m a child or because I’m a girl. Maybe it’s a combination of both. I don’t hear the same tone used when adults talk to my brothers.
Do you remember when you started identifying as a Feminist and why?
I have always seen myself as a feminist. I am growing up in a family where intersectional feminism is talked about loads. We talk about racism and injustice. I’m keen on Sociology as a subject and have begun to start reading articles as part of my home education.
Who is your biggest feminist role model?
You know the answer to this one It’s my Mama. She’s an incredible role model. I’m proud of her and tell her that all the time.
What is your favourite Feminist quote?
I’m not allowed to say the B word but I like this quote. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass” Maya Angelou
What is your proud feminist victory?
I told a teacher at school that she was wrong that women HAVE to change their name when they marry. She was cross with me at the time. I’d do it again.
I also interviewed George Floyd’s uncle when I was eight and that was a proud moment.
What is your feminist recommendation?
- Book - my dyslexia affects this. I love Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- TV show - Wednesday
- Film - Matilda
What is your feminist call of action to whoever is reading?
I’m still working that out. It’s something about not waiting for other people to say what you already know you could say. Take responsibility and make your difference.