69-Year-Old Who Identifies as 49-Year-Old Loses Court Battle

69-Year-Old Who Identifies as 49-Year-Old Loses Court Battle December 3, 2018

A man in the Netherlands lost his court battle to change his age legally. Emile Ratelband petitioned the court to change his legal age from 69 to 49. Ratelband rationalized his request by arguing individuals can legally change their gender and so he should be able to change his age. The 69-year-old claimed his age limited his opportunities and allowed others to discriminate against him. Ratelband said he identifies as a 49-year-old, not as a man of almost 70.

When Ratelband requested the age change, he says he provided medical records. The records, he says, indicated he has the body of a 40-45-year-old man. With that evidence in hand, Ratelband believed he had a good case to change his age.

Ratelband doesn’t feel like he’s 69 and wants his legal documents to match how he feels. In an interview with the Washington Post, Ratelband said, “We can make our own decisions if we want to change our name, or if we want to change our gender. So I want to change my age.”

His motivation to change his age was revealed in another quote he made to the Washington Post, “When I’m 69, I am limited,” he said. “If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work. When I’m on Tinder, and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a comfortable position.”

According to Ratelband, he believes that a court changing his age to 49 will provide him with better dating prospects, job opportunities, and luxury items.

The court, Rateland petitioned, responded today with a big fat no to his request. In the ruling, the court said,

“The court did not find any reason in Mr Ratelband’s arguments to create new case law in line with the statutory provisions on changes to a person’s officially registered name or gender.

Its main reason was that, unlike the situation with respect to a change in registered name or gender, there are a variety of rights and duties related to age, such as the right to vote and the duty to attend school.

If Mr Ratelband’s request was allowed, those age requirements would become meaningless.”

The court continued by outlining why they made the denial. According to the court, Ratelband was not able to substantiate his claims of age discrimination

“The court recognized that there was a trend in society for people to feel fit and healthy for longer, but did not regard that as a valid argument for amending a person’s date of birth.

Mr Ratelband had failed to sufficiently substantiate his claim that he suffers from age discrimination, and in any case there are other alternatives available for challenging age discrimination, rather than amending a person’s date of birth.”

Finally, the court concluded that Rateland could feel whatever age he wants to feel. However, his feeling does not change the fact that he was born in 1949. Additionally, the court said they could not wipe 20 years off his birth certificate and not expect that it would affect others registered within those 20 years.

“The court also rejected Mr Ratelband’s argument based on free will, since free will does not extend so far as to make every desired outcome legally possible. Mr Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly.

But amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships. This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications. The priority must be to ensure that the public registers contain accurate factual information.”

Despite losing his request to change his age, Ratelband felt positive about his future. He said he would appeal the decision to a higher court.

Ratelband appears to be a man on a mission to get more Tinder swipes. We will see how the next court rules.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • WallofSleep

    I can dig where he is coming from when it comes to job opportunities and loan opportunities. There is a fair amount of ageism going on in those areas. Tough shit on the Tinder thing though, dude. Stick to women (or men) in your age group.

    All that aside, what he’s really asking for here is to have the courts aid him in perpetrating a fraud.

  • Lucy

    And I wonder if he’s doing this to try and make transgender and nonbinary people look stupid. Could be. He’s privileged and entitled enough that he might have the gall to do that. Never mind that your age, your chronological age, is listed as literally how long you’ve been on this earth (even if your actual biological age might differ by a few years, as mine certainly does – I’m definitely biologically younger than my chronological age suggests but I’m not sure by exactly how much). Whereas one’s gender (the part that makes one transgender and nonbinary) has to do with what gender your brain is. Which could be male, female, a combination of the two, or no psychological gender differentiation at all. And there’s also the social aspect, which can complicate things and make someone feel like other things affect their gender too (an effect that is probably more pronounced the more codified the gender roles in a society are).

  • WallofSleep

    “And I wonder if he’s doing this to try and make transgender and nonbinary people look stupid.”

    That was my first thought as well, but reading the link he sounds even more selfish and self centered in his arguments. This comes across as really being all about him and his egotistical self image.

    But I could be wrong. I suppose we’ll find out more if/when this story develops further.

  • Gary Whittenberger

    Even if some people are discriminated against because of age, this would not justify a legal change of age for this man.

    Peoples’ names are social conventions, so I don’t see any problem with changing them.

    Sex organs and hormones can be changed, so I don’t see any problem with changing sex for legal purposes.

    People cannot change their age. Age is an unchangeable fact about them. So, the court was right to deny this man’s request.

  • anxionnat

    Let him change his stupid fucking age. You 49-year-olds can have him. We 69-year-olds don’t want him. Or, does stupidity know no age? Idiot.

  • persephone

    Well, I’m feeling about 85 today, but I don’t think Social Security is going to kick in early.

  • elizabetta

    Sorry to break it to Mr Ratelband, but he would never pass for a 49 year old.

  • Mythblaster
  • I was hoping he’d win that case, so he could lose his Social Security and be told to go back to work because he’s not retirement age.