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.