I notice you didn't address the overall issue. Trading quality for quantity is a net loss, not a net gain. Your reference to BSG is particularly poignant:
But I'm astonished that you think the writers are so narrow-minded that they would have to re-write Cupcake to be a damsel in distress if he were a she.
If Cupcake was a woman than it wouldn't have mattered at all because he had only two lines in the entire movie.
That's not a prominent or meaningful role; more quantity vs. quality.
Your complaint is essentially that this movie lacks an appropriate quantity
of female characters. Quantity, however, is irrelevant, as it could just as easily be achieved by adding a lesbian threesome as both of the prominent female characters are well-developed and dynamic personalities. It makes no sense to start randomly replacing extras with female parts just for the sake of having female parts; the same balance of quantity could be easily achieved by setting Kirk and Pike's conversation in a nudie bar.
Nothing about Cupcake requires him to be a man at all. The framework of NuStarbuck was taken from the original and she was a fascinating character.
Cupcake is NOT a fascinating character, male OR female. Ergo, switching the gender makes no difference whatsoever.
OTOH, NuStarbuck is variously portrayed as a misanthropic malcontent and high-functioning alcoholic with a severely overclocked libido. It isn't actually the gender reversal of the original character so much as the FUSION of two original characters; basically, the prostitute in the flight suit. A similar thing happens with Commander Cain, where just for the lulz they trot out a steamy lesbian affair with Cylon #6 who then goes on to get raped by just about everybody (remember I mentioned that earlier? It's not accidental).
Funny thing: science fiction is very comfortable with lesbian relationships (which are played mostly for titillation) or sexual assault (also played partly for titillation). OTOH, how many openly gay male characters exist in sci-fi? Related question: how many sci-fi novels, films or movies have ever depicted male-on-male sexual assault? Last question: who, other than a complete baddass like John Barrowman, could EVER get away with playing an openly gay character?
It's almost as if science fiction enjoys a predominantly male-dominated AUDIENCE.
I wonder how they managed to source so many actresses?
Filming in the U.K..
Why do you suppose the ended up casting Alice Eve as Carol Marcus?