The Angle

The Angle: The Toy Soldiers Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on Mattel’s “gender-neutral” dolls, Mary Cain, evangelical journalism, and the friggin’ Democrats.

Capitalism! Mattel recently launched a new line of “gender-neutral” dolls, an intended correction for the heavily gendered norms fostered for decades by the toy industry. But Alex Myers, a transgender man himself, explains why he finds that the dolls fall short of their purpose—and that the effort amounts to little more than a skeevy cash grab on the toymaker’s part.

Breaking systems: Mary Cain was once the fastest girl in America. Then she joined the Nike Oregon Project, under the tutelage of the world’s most famous track coach, and found herself and her body breaking down from punishing, abusive training routines. And as horrifying as Cain’s story is, it’s sadly familiar to many female runners. Shannon Palus explains the circumstances that plagued Cain and other athletes like her.


Crosses: Christian comedian John Crist was the subject of a deep investigation by a conservative Christian magazine that exposed multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the popular funnyman. Such exposés are generally not the provenance of such outlets, and this particular magazine went about the investigation in a different, perhaps journalistically questionable manner. Ruth Graham dives into the story that’s prompted a reckoning in the evangelical press.

One of these things is just like the other: Bill Daley, a former chief of staff for President Barack Obama, recently accepted a high-level position at Wells Fargo. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax and corporate accountability proposals are pissing off billionaires (one guy cried!), causing the Democratic Party establishment to scold her for not being nicer to the plutocrats. These events, disparate as they may seem, are connected, for both are examples of the rot that’s been underlying Democrats’ weak policy over the past decade, Ben Mathis-Lilley claims.

For fun: The new show about Emily Dickinson features twerking and John Mulaney as Henry David Thoreau.

And Wiz Khalifa as Death!