Age not equal to gender, despite what local Dutch man believes


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Transgender rights are currently under fire.


When Emile Ratelband was born, he was negative 20 years old. Or at least that’s what he’d like to think. The Dutch 69 year old is fighting to legally change his age from 69 to 49- grasping onto youth in a pathetic campaign that is less about identity than it is about narcissism.

Comparing his struggle with his age to that of transgender individuals, he lacks perspective in every sense, undermining legitimate oppression to disguise his insecurity as a struggle for equality.

The wish for immortality and permanent youthfulness is not an odd one. Plenty of options exist for people to look and feel younger– botox, elixirs, you name it. There are plenty of ways for this man to feel younger that do not involve including a group of people that have had to fight for the right to exist. But his insistence on a legal age change does not show youthfulness, but rather immaturity, as he is throwing a tantrum akin to a toddler’s.

Gender identity and age exist in entirely different spheres, but for the sake of Ratelband’s argument, let’s compare. Gender identity, and the struggle for acceptance, do not stem from greed. Ratelband, however, is only interested in climbing the social ladder.

He may feel 20 years younger, but he wants the legal change for mainly Tinder success. He complains about not getting matches due to his age- but the ability to get a right swipe is multifaceted, not just based on age.

He can’t come to terms with the fact that he is not getting the attention he wants, and is blaming external factors he won’t accept. If he’s really that bothered by not being able to show his age on Tinder, a quick google search can outline the amazing benefits of Tinder Plus- upon purchase, the age can be concealed. That’s a lot cheaper than a lawyer.

Tinder aside, the issue with his conundrum extends beyond age. Using trans activism to achieve a singular, selfish goal associates the trans community with his battle, making their struggle seem ridiculous and short sighted.

He may not have the best pull game, but he’d never be murdered for trying to be younger. Transgender people, especially transgender women of color, are often the targets of violence. Not to mention the high rates of suicide among transgender youth. Ratelband does not have to face systemic prejudice and danger for trying to live authentically, so comparing his legal battle to that of transgender individuals is completely baseless and harmful.

I understand not wanting to age because society looks at the elderly as living in a state of decline, with lessened capabilities. There is no reason, however, to compare a selfish want to a genuine battle, and Ratelband should recognize that. Some things just can’t be changed. His upset over aging is nothing more than a temper tantrum, and like a toddler, he should give it a time out. Sit down, reflect and only return when he thinks about what he has done.