Dutch judge rules man cannot legally take 20 years off of his age

A Dutch motivational speaker has lost his bid to shave 20 years off his legal age when a judge ruled against him.

Emile Ratelband, age 69, had petitioned the court to lower his age to 49.  The judge let him down easy.

Associated Press:

"Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly," Arnhem court said in a press statement.  "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."

This judge is acting far too reasonably and logically to fit in these days.  Doesn't he know that things like biology, gender identity, and sexual preferences all depend on how you feel and not on reality?

Ratelband went to court last month, arguing that he didn't feel 69 and saying his request was consistent with other forms of personal transformation which are gaining acceptance in the Netherlands and around the world, such as the ability to change one's name or gender.

But in a written ruling, the court said Dutch law assigns rights and obligations based on 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 said it acknowledged "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."

The judge actually seems a little regretful that he couldn't grant Ratelband's request.  No matter.  I have no doubt that someone will show up in a court somewhere soon asking to legally change his height.  Why not?  It's how you feel about yourself that matters, and if you feel ten feet tall, by God, you should be allowed to legally live as if you were ten feet tall.

I am not confident that this madness will end anytime soon.  But you have to wonder: 50 or 100 years from now, will we be looking at this nonsense the same way we now view previous notions that disease could be cured by bleeding the afflicted or that illness was caused by "evil humors" trapped in the body?

A Dutch motivational speaker has lost his bid to shave 20 years off his legal age when a judge ruled against him.

Emile Ratelband, age 69, had petitioned the court to lower his age to 49.  The judge let him down easy.

Associated Press:

"Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly," Arnhem court said in a press statement.  "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."

This judge is acting far too reasonably and logically to fit in these days.  Doesn't he know that things like biology, gender identity, and sexual preferences all depend on how you feel and not on reality?

Ratelband went to court last month, arguing that he didn't feel 69 and saying his request was consistent with other forms of personal transformation which are gaining acceptance in the Netherlands and around the world, such as the ability to change one's name or gender.

But in a written ruling, the court said Dutch law assigns rights and obligations based on 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 said it acknowledged "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."

The judge actually seems a little regretful that he couldn't grant Ratelband's request.  No matter.  I have no doubt that someone will show up in a court somewhere soon asking to legally change his height.  Why not?  It's how you feel about yourself that matters, and if you feel ten feet tall, by God, you should be allowed to legally live as if you were ten feet tall.

I am not confident that this madness will end anytime soon.  But you have to wonder: 50 or 100 years from now, will we be looking at this nonsense the same way we now view previous notions that disease could be cured by bleeding the afflicted or that illness was caused by "evil humors" trapped in the body?