In the newest episode of Renegades: Born in the USA, Obama’s podcast with rocker Bruce Springsteen, the former President argues that modern men need to evolve.
Obama says the culture of “toxic masculinity” which he argues teaches boys to value sports, sexual conquest and also violence and making money.
Obama says in a released clip “I talk to my daughters’ friends about boys growing up, and so much of popular culture tells them that the only clear, defining thing about being a man, being masculine, is you excel in sports and sexual conquest.”
“And violence, right? Those are the three things, and violence, if it’s healthy at least, is subsumed into sports,” he continues “Later, you add to that definition, making money, right? How much money can you make?”
“There is a bunch of stuff in there we did not reckon with,” Obama says, arguing the modern man needs to evolve “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,” he added.
In 2019 Obama gave his take on how a modern man should act.
“Being a man is first and foremost being a good human. And that means being responsible, being reliable, working hard, being kind, being respectful, being compassionate,” Obama said. “The notion that somehow defining yourself as a man is dependent on, are you able to put somebody else down instead of lifting them up; are you able to dominate as opposed to support, that is an old view.”
“You don’t need eight women around you twerking,” Obama also joked, blasting pop culture depictions of masculinity.