The Disposable Object Who Only Exists To Make A Man Saaad
You're probably aware that women don't get a great deal in superhero comics -- and not just because of the skintight unitards with boob windows. Female characters have a habit of winding up dead, kidnapped, de-powered, tortured, dead (again), and/or sexually assaulted, all for no other reason than to provide an excuse for their male love interests or friends to go punch someone.
It's a phenomenon called "women in refrigerators," after a particularly gruesome comic in which Green Lantern returns home to find his girlfriend bundled up in the refrigerators like leftovers, ostensibly as part of a supervillainous plot to make him feel sad ... or constipated. There's a lot going on in that panel.
DC ComicsHe was so distraught that his nose fell off.
In response, writer Gail Simone and a couple of other comic readers started drafting a list of female comic book characters who'd suffered similar or worse fates. They found over one-freaking-hundred examples, ranging from that Green Lantern issue to Batman to Spider-Man to Superman. As much crap as Bruce Wayne gets for treating Robin as disposable, that's nothing compared to how many female sidekicks he burns through, from Batwoman / Kathy Kane (murdered) to Robin / Stephanie Brown (tortured with a power drill and murdered) to Batgirl / Barbara Gordon (shot, sexually assaulted, and paralyzed).
As it's been noted, the issue lies in how their deaths are framed. When Robin got his in the A Death In The Family Batman arc, for instance, it was a huge multi-issue affair that changed the dynamic of the entire series. Meanwhile, when Batgirl got shot in The Killing Joke, it was sudden, brutal ...
DC ComicsThey tried to give it more depth in the animated movie ... by having her bang Batman.