Batgirl is a name that inherently speaks of youth, being new to the job and not Batman's equal in experience. Barbara is none of those things. There is no reason a thirty plus woman who is one of the world's most seasoned heroes would let herself be called a girl- especially when Katherine Kane, not any older than Babs and certainly less experienced, calls herself "woman". Having Babs as Batgirl and Kate as Batwoman implies Babs is a rookie and whippersnapper compared to her, maybe even her sidekick. That is not true, and it's silly. Babs, who has always been proud of her experience, would not stand for that. So, is DC planning to deage Barbara Gordon and strip her of all her experience? That's the same as depowering her, and it's gross. Or will they ignore the silliness of the whole thing?
The fact is, Babs has outgrown Batgirl, and sticking her in that role again is as ridiculous as sticking Dick Grayson the scaly panties again. It would be demeaning and silly. But Babs is a woman, so she doesn't get the respect Dick does. Women can be regressed, they can have their accomplishments erased. The fact is Babs is no longer a distaff counterpart, she no longer answers to Batman and is his equal in experience. But that doesn't matter.
And what of Cass and Steph? Well, DC doesn't consider them important enough to even say anything about. A slew of titles has been released, and the Batboys all have their own stuff and are nearly all accounted for, but Cass and Steph get zip. Of course, these two girls are used to being shafted. Steph was fridged, forgotten and demeaned in every way possible, her female fans treated like shit and she finally gets barely more than two years of respect and spotlight- only to have that tossed away without a second thought despite the fact her title sold well and her trade made the best graphic novels list. She did great in trades. But Bryan Q. Miller hasn't been approached to write any new DC titles, which doesn't look good for Steph. And don't even get me started on Cass. Dragon ladied, dragged through the mud and forgotten, she JUST reentered comics in an independent role and had a hope of finally getting decent treatment- only to have it snatched away. To possibly be erased.
See, one of the things Babs is losing is a legacy. She taught and nurtured Cass and Steph, passed on the mantle like all true heroes do and passed her knowledge on, and Cass and Steph carried on her good work. Batgirl was one of the few female legacies in comics and one of the best. That's lost now too. The mantle doesn't get passed on, great relationships and mentorships don't get forged, instead, we regress and lose all of them.
DC cannot just put pants on some women and call it a day and then say they are diversifying and trying to attract a female audience. Not when in one fell motion, they trashed the disable woman, the asian woman and the poor woman. Even trusted professionals like Gail Simone are burbling about how now when Gotham looks up they'll see Batgirl- implying Babs is the only "real" Batgirl, completely erasing Cass and Steph's accomplisments, as well as devaluing Oracle's in forging a legacy.
The fact is that I have a blogroll of mostly women bloggers and not a single one of them is happy with this decision. As one pointed out, women are more likely to be the "new fans" who weren't around for the Silver Age and thus attached to Cass, Steph and Oracle. It's the straight white aging male who wants to regress to Babsgirl and the Silver Age. DC never saw fit to put Cass and Steph in outside media, because, as has been clearly established, they don't give a damn about them. So Babsgirl is more recognizable- but the average Joe doesn't know who Barbara Gordon is. They won't care if Batgirl is a redhead, Asian or blonde, just as long as she's in a recognizable costume and easy to understand. In fact, Dick Grayson as Robin is a far more recognizable property than Babsgirl, but again, I don't see DC regressing him to Robin "because they're a business".
I will get Steph's series until it ends, and Gates of Gotham, What's the point of getting anything else? After that, nothing. There's no point in reading a universe where my three favorite characters are erased and devalued without a second thought. Sure, I like Batwoman, but she'll probably be erased next. Why should I wait around for Jaime Reyes to get his head shot open for real this time? DC doesn't care about diversity. Not really.
I'm down to the Unwritten, Thor and whatever indies catch my fancy. I'll try out Heroes for Hire, get into Marvel a little more. I'm glad I have anime and manga now. I'm relieved, really. I don't have to get slapped in the face anymore. I will write a letter to DC telling why I'm leaving. Mostly, I'm just going to enjoy these characters in fandom and the wonderful friends I've met through fandom. It's better that way, anyway. I'm glad this news didn't come out earlier and sour HeroesCon. I got too amazing posters of Steph!Batgirl and comished a piece of Steph and Cass as (Black)Batman and Robin, and I'll treasure them forever.