Lazy eyes listen
A Dutchman who wanted to change his birth date to improve his dating prospects lost his legal battle.
Emile Ratelband, who was still 69 at the time, wanted to change his birth date by 20 years to avoid what he called discrimination.
“We live in an era when you can change your name and gender. How come I can’t choose my own age?” He stated.
However, the court disagreed, pointing out that many legal rights are based on a person’s age, and changing it at will could result in numerous problems.
It stated that there was no legal basis for such a change.
“Mr Ratelband is free to feel 20 years younger than his true age and act accordingly,” the judges wrote, but changing his legal documents would have “unwanted legal and societal consequences.”
Mr Ratelband, who describes himself as a “positivity trainer,” made international headlines with his unusual request.
He made TV and other press appearances leading up to the hearing, saying he felt discriminated against in both employment and on the popular dating app Tinder – and that his doctors told him he had the body of someone in their 40s.
“I can buy a new house and drive a different car when I’m 49. I am available for additional work “He stated. “When I use Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get any responses. With my face, I’ll be in a luxurious position when I’m 49.”
Along with the widespread media attention, he was chastised by some for equating his bid to that of members of the transgender community.
Mr Ratelband argued in court that the date on his birth certificate was incorrect, despite the fact that he was born on that date, March 11, 1949.
The court agreed with him that age is an important aspect of one’s identity. However, unlike Mr Ratelband’s comparisons to a person’s gender or name, it had additional complications.
“Rights and obligations are also attached to age… such as the right to vote, the right to marry, the ability to consume alcohol, and the ability to drive a car,” the court stated.
It discovered that the option of declaring oneself younger could lead to the opposite – becoming older.
The court stated in its decision that granting the request would result in “all kinds of legal problems” by effectively erasing 20 years of events. It pondered what would happen to qualifications obtained at the time, or a driver’s license issued, or a marriage ceremony performed.
It also stated that, while changes to the law allowing people to change their gender occurred following a global debate on such issues, there was no widespread advocacy for the change, with the exception of Mr Ratelband’s lone case.
If he felt discriminated against, the ruling stated that he had other legal options.