Age is not just a num­ber on Tin­der, moans Dutch pen­sioner

The Star Malaysia - - Focus -

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.

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