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Mr. Ratelband from the Netherlands has launched a legal battle to legally change his age by 20 years on his birth certificate. His argument is if transgender people should be allowed to change their gender then age should also be able to be changed. Mr. Ratelband feels 20 years younger than his age and his doctor even said that biologically he seems younger than 69. Mr. Ratelband feels discriminated against by disclosing that he is 69 years old in not old his job but in his dating life as well. Women are not responding to his current Tinder profile he believes due to his age.
Does he really need to go to Court?
If Mr. Ratelband’s main concern is changing his age for Tinder there are ways to indirectly change age on the app even if Tinder does not directly allow it. For instance, he could log onto Facebook and change his year of birth on Facebook which would then reflect on Tinder. If a platform like Facebook offers the opportunity to change birth-date then it could be possibly argued that other platforms should allow this change as well. The opposing would argue that not all platforms have to offer the same features. Age can also be hidden on the app altogether.
Are people swiping left on Mr. Ratelband’s profile because of his age? Generally, the photos on the profile are looked at first; Age is listed below the profile. People take a quick look at the photo especially during a ‘power swipe’ and decide whether they want to swipe left or right. If they like the look of the first photo, then they may further investigate the profile. If there is only one picture on the profile, then it makes the person on the other end seem less personable. People set their limits on age on their profile so the people accepting of his age are seeing his profile. Which goes back to the old saying, you should not try to be something you are not to try to impress someone.
Age vs. Gender
Mr. Ratelband’s main argument was comparing changing age to changing gender. Age and gender are both factors of discrimination, but age includes a time construct which would legally be hard to change. The courts argued that Mr. Ratelband’s parents took care of a child and Mr. Ratelband took part in activities in the first 20 years of his life that would be difficult to say did not occur. In my opinion chronological age should not be allowed to be changed as it could create issues where there is an age limit on certain activities such as consuming alcohol. A person’s biological age however is constantly changing and while it is great that people are able to feel younger/older than their actual chronological age, it would be illogical to continuously change one’s birth-date based on biological age.
Is it Deceitful?
Sexual deceit could also be an issue at play here. Any lies told before sex could arguably prevent true consent. Mr. Ratelband telling people he is 49 years of age to make himself seem more desirable would be a lie. Whereas he could say his biological age is 49 years which would be the truth. It is possible that someone could take Mr. Ratelband to court if he lied about his age if they were angry enough or it had affected them in some manner. People do lie all the time about age to get around constraints or to contain embarrassment. For instance, many Hollywood stars years of birth are a mystery as they continuously say a different year they are born every time they are asked, which could be harmless. It is also seen in sports such as gymnastics so younger people can compete despite the age rule. Many people also try to doctor their legal documents to show that they are younger for certain sports that have an age expiration. However, this type of age fabrication often involves an industry rather than an individual and would likely just be seen as a form of fraud. In the UK this type of age fabrication could possibly be governed by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 if judges were to determine that fabrication of age does not allow for consent.
Read more about this case as it unravels in the courts: