Monday, March 29, 2010

Brother At The Helm

by Michael Allan Mallory

Captain at helm In January I became the first male president of the Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter of Sisters in Crime.

And the world did not end.

Nor should it have. Nothing fundamental had changed. Heck, nothing at all had changed except for the person calling the meeting to order and leading the group. That person happened to be me, one of the Y chromosome members. Like other men who’ve led their SinC chapters, I’m trying to keep the club sailing smoothly on course, not veer off toward uncharted waters. I’m not looking to change anything; members aren’t required to chomp on cigars and spit during meetings just because a guy is at the helm.

Scales Yes, there are brothers involved with Sisters in Crime, though that isn’t well known to the outside world because SinC itself isn’t an organization on the average person’s radar. To the general public I’m an odd duck. When I mention to some people that I’m a member of Sisters in Crime I often get curious looks in return, as if they think I’ve infiltrated some Dan Brownian secret society of women. After I explain what SinC is about and that most of our guest speakers come from local law enforcement, I’m apparently deemed okay.

Granted, I didn’t get these odd looks when I belonged to Toastmasters or the years I studied and taught Wing Chun kung fu. Yeah, it’s because of the word Sisters. But I don’t care. Sisters in Crime offers a venue for learning and professional development that transcends gender. As a writer, my involvement in the chapter has allowed me to become acquainted with mystery authors in Minnesota and elsewhere. During meetings or contacts made at meetings, I’ve become aware of venues and services useful to all writers. Oh, and I get to talk about mystery books to people who love them as much as I. Plus we hold our meetings in a really cool mystery bookstore!

Kung fu panda I will add that Sisters in Crime has some advantages to the other groups I’ve mentioned: there’s definitely less speechifying than in Toastmasters and far less hitting than kung fu.


Deb Baker said...

Congrats, Bro! Way to go! You are blazing a new trail and the organization is stronger with you as a leading member.

Steph Damore said...

Good luck at the helm! I'm sure you're doing great.