News & Politics

Dutch Court Rejects 69-Year-Old Man's Attempt to Change Legal Age to 49

Self-styled Dutch positivity guru Emile Ratelband answers questions during an interview in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. A Dutch court has rejected the request of a self-styled positivity guru to shave 20 years off his age. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

A Dutch court on Monday rejected a 69-year-old man’s attempt to change his legal age to 49, even though the Netherlands does legally recognize transgender identity, which is similarly legally and scientifically problematic. “Positivity trainer” Emile Ratelband argued that if men can change their legal identity and birth certificate to read “female,” then he should be able to alter his date of birth to avoid “discrimination.”

“We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can’t I decide my own age?” Ratelband asked.

“If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work,” the “positivity trainer” argued, the BBC reported. “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 claimed that the date on his birth certificate was a mistake. He may have been born on March 11, 1949, but he identified as having been born on March 11, 1969.

The court rightly rejected this absurd claim, but it made no clear argument as to why trans-age identity must be rejected while transgender identity is celebrated. The court agreed that age is part of a person’s identity, but age carries legal ramifications, unlike gender or sex (uh huh…).

“Rights an obligations are also attached to age… for example, the right to vote, the right to marry, the opportunity to drink alcohol and to drive a car,” the judges argued. “Mr Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,” but changing his legal documents would have “undesirable legal and societal implications.”

These ramifications arguably also attach to transgender identity. As radical feminists like Army veteran Miriam Ben-Shalom have noted, legal recognition of transgender identity opens female-only spaces like bathrooms and changing rooms to men who claim to identify as transgender. (Those who truly struggle with gender dysphoria do not necessarily represent a threat, but male voyeurs have abused the system.)

Furthermore, governments keep men and women in different prisons — and errors in this can result in serious emotional scarring, as one grandmother in Miami experienced in 2013. Schools also allow biological males to compete with biological females in women’s sports, which results in freshmen defeating seniors in high school track and field.

Issues of parental custody make transgender identity even thornier. For example, a 6-year-old boy in Texas identifies as a boy in most cases, but his mother only allows him to dress as a girl. His mother, who is divorcing the boy’s father, has the legal rights to choose a therapist, and chose a pro-transgender therapist. This endangers a boy who does not have a consistent female gender identity, and pits the legal system against biology.

Indeed, a 5-year-old boy in Georgia realized he didn’t even have to identify as a girl in order to get into the girl’s restroom. He identified as “gender non-conforming” and sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl in the girl’s restroom.

Like trans-age identity, transgender identity does not change the biological facts of a person’s life, and there are important legal ramifications from forcing a redefinition in the law.

None of this is to belittle the very real struggles of people with gender dysphoria. Contrary to social media companies like Twitter, it is possible to condemn any bullying of transgender people while still rejecting the basic premise that transgender identity is more reliable than biological sex.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Twitter “moment” on Ratelband’s story only included opinion articles defending transgender identity and attacking Ratelband’s comparison between trans-age and transgender identity. Transgender identity is in opposition to basic biology, but it enjoys a special status on Twitter and in the law.

While Ratelband’s case rightly lost, it remains a stunning rebuke to the unquestioning acceptance of transgender identity among the “progressive” elites.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.