The handling of Kasidy Yates was further evidence that DS9 edginess was only in the minds of its fans. A truly edgy DS9 would never have had her surrender to Ben, much less come back for a group hug and marriage to him. Better would have been for her to persist as some sort of semi-antagonist.
However, while part of it, I don't think the bad handling of Yates was necessarily entirely a gender issue. As she was originally set up, she could have been a fine character. The problem was more the tendency to have all
the protagonists on the show follow some road to Damascus and come around to the same moral perspective as Starfleet and the Federation. It might have been reasonable in the case of someone like Kira. However, Quark, especially, suffered from the blandness of infecting everybody with Federation sensibilities. At least the writers were self-aware enough to make fun of it, with the root beer scene
in The Way of the Warrior.
Getting back to Kasidy, the writers just didn't seem capable of conceiving of her as a multidimensional character who might be in love with Ben but also have a dedication to the Maquis. They cheapened her character and reduced her to just an extension of Ben. But as with Quark, they also had a habit of dropping the ball on a lot of characters on the show.