"Most male lecturers know that, most years, there will be a girl in class who flashes her admiration and who asks for advice on her essays. What to do? Enjoy her! She's a perk."
Some people will think I am being a humourless old bitch to object to this. But I can remember being a teenage student and this sort of thing would have made it difficult for me to pluck up courage to ask any of my lecturers for advice on my essays. Not because I was so vain I thought they would be attracted to me, but rather the reverse. I would have been mortified to think that they would interpret my actions as 'flashing my admiration'. God knows, male academics are vain enough as it is. I used to sometimes get the impression that some of the crustier old philosophers secretly thought I had a crush on them. Yuck. And you can't say 'Oh, and by the way, I don't fancy you.'
And what is the alternative? To be a quiet little mouse, to never say anything? And surely that is the ultimate purpose of this sort of thing: to make it impossible for women to ask for advice on essays because they - you know - want to learn something.