Between the spring of 1788 and summer of 1790 fifty seven complaints were made to London Magistrates by women alleging that they had been molested and stabbed [on the buttocks] by an individual stranger in public.https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/412011/1/LIBRARY_COPY_PhD_Thesis_Final_Formatted_Version.pdf
Reports of ‘lady bottom cutters’ then spread like wildfire across the newly emerging mass media in the form of daily newspapers.
While it cannot be shown that there were no actual incidents of bottom cutting, initially, the media-amplified spread has been described as one of the earliest example of a moral panic where mass media take reports of deviance, construct them into a definitive form and exaggerate its geographic spread and frequency until ‘moral guardians’ in the courts, the police, the church, education and, of course, among politicians, call for action as if it were a real crisis in behaviour.
So ‘real’ had the crisis become, bizarre response emerged:
The protection of female backsides was also proving a highly lucrative sideline for both blacksmith and satirist, with reports of the wealthy ordering bespoke copper cuirasses to wear beneath their skirts, the poorer orders having to make do with additional layers of the customary cork.Same source
Reports of people being spiked by needles in nightclubs seem to have first emerged in Nottingham where police are investigating 12 cases. Reports have now spread across the country including 4 cases in Glasgow,
A predictable moral guardian has already emerged with the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, ordering police to clamp down on ‘syringe spiking” and urgently assess the scale of the problem.
Only, as far as I can see, the Herald, has reported skeptical expert opinion:
Experts have said that a sudden spate of women being spiked by injection is “far-fetched” and “deeply improbable” due to the difficulties involved with using a syringe on someone against their will.https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/homenews/19664972.spiking-injection-experts-say-scenario-far-fetched/
I spoke to a local health board scientist and they felt that it would be a very difficult act to carry out.
So, is this a classic moral panic like that around trans men in women’s toilets?
Given the unfortunately easy and effective method of spiking drinks, it’s hard to see why these modern monsters would adopt another method so difficult to implement.