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Darlene Pagano papers
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The collection includes manuscripts and correspondence documenting the publication of the book "Against Sadomasochism" and materials relating to the conflicts among collective members of A Woman's Place Bookstore which ultimately led to the lock-out of four members in 1982.
Darlene Pagano, a local activist involved in a number of progressive political movements, was a member of the I.C.I.-A Woman's Place bookstore collective in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As a member of the collective, she became involved in discussions over whether books concerning lesbian sadomasochism should be displayed and sold in the bookstore. The policy of not displaying these books was heavily criticized by Samois, a local lesbian S/M group. Pagano's interest in the issue led to her participation in the publication of Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis (1982). She served as co-editor of the volume and co-author of two included articles. In the fall of 1982, after many months of conflict within the six-woman collective, a collective member and a former member, changed the locks at the bookstore and sought to re-open as a “collective of two,” citing irreconcilable differences among collective members. Four of the remaining women, including Pagano, organized themselves as “The Locked-Out 4,” acquired office space, and began a very public fight to regain access to the bookstore. The event attracted national feminist attention, spotlighting as it did both concerns about the continued effectiveness of collectives and the difficult issues of diversity and differences among women within feminist communities. Collective members on both sides took legal action and were ordered by a judge to return to work together until there was a full court hearing. Ultimately, the women chose to have the case resolved by feminist arbitrators in binding arbitration the following year. In the final decision, the bookstore was re-established as a collective, but all former members were required either to depart immediately or to “cycle out” of the collective within two years.
1.8 linear feet (2 boxes, 2 folders)
Copyright has been assigned to the GLBT Historical Society.
Collection is open for research. Funding for processing this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).