I never appreciated the mantra of @Dan Bron: "Rep points are imaginary" until now. Until this change, especially the retroactive part, I took pleasure in seeing rep grow, like a healthy flowering plant. Now, it has become utterly meaningless -- a plastic flower. And the timing of the change feels, rightly or wrongly, clumsy.
To directly address the OP's question, there was, briefly, a leaked rationale for the change, which placed great emphasis on making questions easier for women to ask. As a woman, I find this rationale disingenuous and insulting.