I love this term! The first 3 meanings in the dictionary come up as-
1.of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.
2.thoroughgoing or extreme, esp. as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy of a company.
3.favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.
Radical homemaking seems to me to be going back to the root of homemaking. Cooking from scratch, thrift, home grown and raising your children in a hands on way are some of the ways our great, great grandmothers kept house. At the same time it's a pretty major swing from how westernized society does things now-days. Also it is a bit of a political, economic and social stance to reject supermarkets filled with toxic cleaners and non foods from halfway around the globe. It's a bit of a statement to choose simple living over the ever changing new and fancy stuff out there.
I also like to think of myself as a bit "radical". I was a child in the 80's after all.
Obviously I'm not a purist. I have an iPhone and we eat at the world's most popular family "restaurant" from time to time. I buy Tannah's shoes brand new every time (but I do hand them down!)and I am Clueless (capital intended) when it comes to sewing.
But I do feel like I'm rocking the food made from scratch department. And we are sourcing a LOT of clothes from op shops. We eat a lot of eggs from our very own chooks and grow a bit of food in our very tiny space. And of course there is the learning and birthing at home-about as DIY as you can get!
I must say for all the joy that grabbing a meal from the window of my car brings me on the odd occasion there is a whole lot more self satisfaction that I expected in the doing it yourself. And it's addictive! I want to grow more, fix more, learn to sew and source more things second hand.
Who knows. Maybe the radical homemakers can change the world.
Check out Calamity Jane at Apron Strings for more inspiration.