Jessica Valenti popularized its usage with her explanation of this concept in her book, Full Frontal Feminism. In an interview with Salon, she was asked to explain the concept behind this “rape schedule”. This is how she responded:
I first heard about it in my women’s studies classes. It’s the idea that every woman in one way or another lives on a rape schedule. Every action you take is built on an awareness that you could be attacked: from walking with your keys in your hand, to locking your car doors at an intersection, to deciding to go home a half-hour earlier. There is no public space for women; the whole world is a prison where you have to be constantly aware at all times that you’re a potential victim. What’s more terrifying is that it’s not necessarily preventative. Most rapes are committed by people you know and trust and let your guard down with.
It’s essentially all the preventative measures that we take, the things we do and wear (or don’t), the time of day we go certain places (or don’t), to avoid something that really is not in our control. we do it without even thinking about it most of the time, because it is routine, scheduled, It is a privilege to live without this, a privilege that women do not have.