Age is not just a number on Tinder, moans Dutch pensioner
A 69-year-old pensioner in the Netherlands set Twitter ablaze recently when he launched a legal bid to slash 20 years off his age to boost his love life.
Emile Ratelband told a tribunal that he wanted to shift his birth date two decades later to March 11, 1969 as his real age was cramping his style on dating apps.
“I feel much younger than my age, I am a young god, I can have all the girls I want but not after I tell them my age,” said Ratelband.
“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.”
Unsurprisingly, this sparked a lot of hate on Twitter.
One Cathy Moore tweeted, “Ummmm perhaps you suck otherwise big fella and the reason is not your age #EmileRatelband. You know it says a lot if you have to beg for folks to be interested in you!”
Alice Elizabeth Boyd could not contain her disgust.
“I hope the #Dutchman trying to change his age in court is immediately observed for concerns for lies and harrrassment of women instead of his own stupidity. This is not normal. To be lied to about age by a predator is assault.”
Ratelband remained unapologetic. According to his doctor, his biological age is between 40 and 45, he said.
“I feel young, I am in great shape and I want this to be legally recognised because I feel abused, aggrieved and discriminated against because of my age.”
Glinda refused to buy it, tweeting, “Enough! Ratelband stands more chance of identifying as George Lucas than he does as a 45 year old.”
Jonathan Cheetham dished this advice: “Could just lie like most people in Hollywood for example or on their Tinder/Grindr profile.
But the Dutch ‘young god’ also had many supporters.
Josephine Thomson wrote, “I’m 57 going to be 58 in January... Can I please be allowed to take 20 years from my age? I really want to be 21 again, but I won’t say no to 37.”
Bob Collins was inspired too: “I’m starting legal action to identify as 20 years older so I can retire.”
Tony Sarno called it “utterly brilliant!” “There’s a perfectly scientific justification to this (i.e, difference between biological and chronological age can vary massively between people) and it highlights ageism in society,” he wrote.
The confident Ratleband, who is a life coach specialising in “self awareness” training, said he also felt discriminated when applying for jobs.
“When I’m 69, I am limited. If I’m 49, then I can take up more work. I can buy a new house, drive a different car,” Ratelband said.
The single father insisted that his petition was “legitimate”, likening his bid for a legal remedy to people who apply for an official change of gender.
“Today we can choose our work, gender, political and sexual orientation. We even have the right to change our name. So why do we not have the right to change our age?” he asked.
He has taken his case to a local court in Arnhem, but court officials remain wary as no legal mechanisms currently exist to allow citizens to change their birth date, Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.
Ratelband said while he was initially greeted by “jeers” from magistrates, he now believes his lawyer – famous Dutch criminal lawyer Jan-Hein Kuijpers – had “unsettled” the judge.
“This case is unprecedented, the chances of success are minimal. But we believe that the legislation must evolve with the times,” Kuijpers said.
The court must decide within four weeks. If successful with his court case, Ratelband promises to give up his pension.
Wrinkle in time: A twitter user said Ratelband has more chance of being mistaken for 74-year-old George Lucas than someone in his 40s.