Obama discusses talking toxic masculinity with daughters on Springsteen podcast
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Former President Obama says he had discussions with his daughters about gender roles and toxic masculinity as they were growing up. 

"I talk to my daughters' friends about boys growing up and, so much of popular culture tells [boys] that the only clear, defining thing about being a man, being masculine, is you excel in sports and sexual conquest," Obama said during a recent episode of the new podcast he co-hosts with singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen, according to USA Today and a clip shared with Elle Magazine

Commenting on his father and male figures in the lives of young boys, Obama said, "There were some qualities of the traditional American male ... that are absolutely worthy of praise and worthy of emulating."


"That sense of responsibility, meaning you’re willing to do hard things and make some sacrifices for your family or for future generations," he added. "The greatest generation showed that again and again. And that handling your business ... that sense of responsibility of being an adult."

The two men discussed how violence can be a defining aspect of what it means to be a man as young boys grow up, with Obama saying "violence, if it’s healthy at least, is subsumed into sports."

Obama, who has two daughters, Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, goes on in the interview to discuss the "Me Too" movement and women's rights.

“There is a bunch of stuff in there that we did not reckon with, and now you’re seeing with Me Too part of what we’re dealing with in terms of women still seeking equal pay, part of what we’re still dealing with in terms of domestic abuse and violence. ... There was never a full reckoning of who our dads were, what they had in them ... How we have to understand that and talk about that. What lessons we should learn from it. All that kind of got buried.”

The former president has used the podcast to reveal previously undisclosed details of his private life and personal history.

Last month, he told a story about punching a fellow student after the student used a racial slur to disparage him.

"It’s one of those things that — where he might not even known what a c--- was — what he knew was, 'I can hurt you by saying this,' " Obama said. "And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose. And we were in the locker room."