I have no problem whatsoever with an increase in female characters (though as I said before a female dominated cast would feel strange for a Star Wars Saga movie) and Skuldren has a great point about the events of RotJ paving the way for more women in authority. And I also agree that the father/son idea in Star Wars doesn't need to be set in stone. Why would it?
That said, this is why the negative reaction annoys me:
1) I dislike it when outside pressures determine creative decisions. I don't care if it comes from studio execs or the masses/minority groups. I just really dislike it. Maybe I'm not seeing thing from a franchise perspective, but in my opinion, art shouldn't be a democracy. It should be an autocracy, or at most an oligarchy; an artist and their work. For me experience has shown that the best artists are selfish artists, artists that tell the story they're compelled to tell with little or no consideration for their audience. It seems counter-intuitive, but in my opinion that is how great art is made. You will all call me out on this and point to George Lucas, but I believe he is the exception to the rule. And the beauty of it is that, if you don't like the way stories are being told, you can make your own!
2) We have two, probably three, female major characters which is more than the other six movies. I also have a strong feeling that one of them will be the protagonist. The characters in the article that Life linked are all secondary/minor characters and wouldn't be listed on a major casting list like the one we got, so there will probably be plenty of female characters that we don't know about. It may not be as much as people were hoping for, but so far it's better than the other films. Could there be more? Yes. Should there be? That's up to the artists.
"For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conversationalist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world is the playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws. But the tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule. If Mormons do not like my plays, let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent typewriters. [...] All you umpires, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers. It's my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases. At sunset I've won or lost. At sunrise, I'm out again, giving it the old try. And no one can help me. Not even you." - Ray Bradbury
Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.