The Purple Ink Writers recently wrote an article that sparked a lot of conversation among our Murder of Storytellers. It involves fridging, a trope that is exceedingly common but that, until the Purple Inkers wrote about it, I knew nothing about.
While fridging is not solely attributable to women, it's all too common for women to be left in the fridge simply to spur a main male character to act. Gail Simone put together a list of females in comic books who have been stuffed into the fridge, beginning with Alexandra DeWitt in the Green Lantern comic books.
So the question is, is this a feminist issue? The Purple Inkers think so. So does Simone. And so do I. Having a tragedy motivate a character is not unusual in storytelling, but that tragedy is all the more effective if the victim is a person instead of a McGuffin. List for yourself, however, the number of female non-characters who have been raped, killed, mutilated, etc., all to serve to motivate a male protagonist. Too many. That's the answer to that question.
I really suggest reading the Purple Ink Writers' article. Note, though, you may want to catch up on The Walking Dead before you read it. There be spoilers.