The potential problem I'm talking about is the Greek -andro element, which means "man." It can be seen in people names, medical terms and plant terms. Andrea and Alexandra are two popular baby names used that fit this description. (I would include Andromeda and Andromache in this, but they are extremely rare.)
I don't know if Americans were once highly interested in the meaning and origins of names and then became disinterested over time, or if only a small percentage were and still are interested. Early in our recording of name statistics, parents were naming their children largely based on tradition, religious beliefs and honoring family, so I don't think the meanings of Alexandra and Andrea were deal-breakers. How is it possible to find the logic behind every female ever named Alexandra, for example? It is nearly impossible to say with any certainty that X percent of people named Alexandra, or Andrea, had parents that knew -andra meant "man" and how that knowledge affected their ultimate decision.
Not to mention, what does this information mean to anyone now? Does anyone care that Alexandra means "defender of man/defending men?" Or that Andrea means "manly?" Since I've seen Andrea's meaning discussed on occasion, and noted that some find her meaning displeasing, even a deal-breaker, I believe meaning is important in today's culture, and someone out there cares. When faced with a decision between Andrea or Cassandra, which means "shining upon man," which would most parents today choose?
I know that Andrea meaning "manly" would be a turnoff for me when choosing a name, no matter what my reasoning or beliefs were, just as a name meaning "sickly," "mean," or "ugly" would be a turnoff. But personally, I could take Alexandra to not mean one single man, but mankind. Maybe if someone I dearly loved was named Andre or Alexander, the meaning of the feminine variants would be much less noteworthy to me. I wonder if Alexandra's past and present popularity (historical namesakes and a current rank at #76) negate the meaning. She is considered a timeless classic. Andrea, which is not far behind at #81, is not exactly considered a timeless classic, but she has been quite popular. And Cassandra, which has a more pleasant meaning, ranks much lower at #411.
So I ask, are the names Alexandra and Andrea offensive to women, and would the meanings of Alexandra and Andrea deter you from using them?