Dutch Court Rules That You Are, In Fact, Not As Young As You Feel.

Emile Ratelband, a 69-year-old motivational speaker from the Netherlands, has lost his initial battle to legally have his age changed from 69 years of age to 49 years of age.

The reason behind the request was simple: Ratelband wanted to meet more women to have sex with in order to father more children.

Ratelband gave an interview to AD explaining his logic for changing his age.

“When I’m 69, I am limited. If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car,” he said, according to a translation by The Guardian. “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 luxurious position.”

Ratelband’s website says he has seven children and “a steady relationship with the woman of his dreams.” However, he told media outlets that he is dating and is seeking to have more children with surrogate mothers.

Ratelband’s position is akin to those who argue that gender is not scientific, but fluid.

The 69-year-old also spoke to The Washington Post and said he is not concerned that his comparison of an age change to a sex change may be offensive to transgender people. He called it a question of free will.

“Because nowadays, in Europe and in the United States, we are free people,” he told the Post. “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. My feeling about my body and about my mind is that I’m about 40 or 45.”

The court rejected that line of thought:

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 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.

It should be noted that in the Netherlands, people cannot simply say “I am transgendered” without going through a process of sorts.

…. transgender people need a statement from an expert affirming that they have a “permanent conviction” that their gender does not match what is on their birth certificates, and that they understand the repercussions of their decision.

While we disagree with Ratelband’s thinking that believing you are younger actually makes you younger, the thought does follow the same path as those who wish to be “gender fluid.” If what one thinks and feels can outweigh science, then Ratelband must be right. (Even though he isn’t.)

Ratelband has announced he will appeal the decision. As NPR reports:

Ratelband was not discouraged by the decision. “The reaction of the judges is fantastic, is great,” he said.

“You know why? Because we have a strategy,” he added, referring to his plan to address on appeal the specific reasons the judge gave in rejecting the age change.

Ratelband says he expects his appeal to be heard in the coming months.

Ratelband denied bringing his case in order to criticize or discredit transgender people, although he has repeatedly compared his quixotic crusade to their battle to have their gender identity recognized.

Funny how NPR views denying science in one case acceptable and denying it in another is a “quixotic quest.”

In our opinion, it is wrong in both cases.

One Response to “Dutch Court Rules That You Are, In Fact, Not As Young As You Feel.”

  1. Thomas Gaume says:

    I identify as 24 for fun purposes, and 68 for retirement purposes.

    Isn’t that how it works, just verbalize what you WANT to be, not what you are?