69-Year-Old Dutchman Loses Bid to Legally Change his Age to 49
Emile Ratelband, the 69-year-old Dutch citizen who identifies as a 45-year-old and wishes to legally reduce his age by 20 years, has lost his case in court.
While he might feel like a younger man, Emile Ratelband won’t be able to legally say he is one.
Ratelband, a 69-year-old self-help guru from the Netherlands, sparked a court battle last month in an effort switch his birth year from 1949 to 1969, effectively making himself 20 years younger — on paper, at least.
“I have done a [doctor’s] check-up and what does it show?” Ratelband, defending his reasoning, said in an interview with The Telegraph. “My biological age is 45 years.”
But feeling like a man 20 years his junior wasn’t enough for Ratelband, since he believed he could find more opportunities as an actual 49-year-old.
“When I’m 69, I am limited,” he told the news outlet, adding that he is a frequent victim of age-based discrimination. “If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work.”
But these challenges aren’t just limited to what he could purchase or where he could work, Ratelband said, it also affected his love life. If he would be able to say he was 20 years younger, it might help him get more attention from women.
“When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer,” Ratelband, not-so-humbly, explained. “When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.”
As the Washington Post explained, Ratelband has cultivated a reputation for being a “provocateur,” and many believed his court battle was nothing but a stunt to bring attention to his social media account and lifestyle business. In an interview, Ratelband told the newspaper that those accusations were simply “B.S.,” and that his fight was similar to that of people who want to legally change their gender.
But a court in Arnhem, a city in the Dutch province of Gelderland, rejected Ratelband’s argument based on other laws that are founded on age, such the rules that designate when someone is old enough to vote.
“Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,” the court said in a statement Monday, according to the New York Post. “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 court continued: “There are other alternatives available for challenging age discrimination, rather than amending a person’s date of birth.”
Despite the court’s decision, Ratelband remained animated about continuing his battle.
“This is great!” he told reporters. “The rejection of [the] court is great… because they give all kinds of angles where we can connect when we go in appeal.”
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