UTRECHT, Netherlands – Independent guru positivity Emile Ratelband believes that age is just a number. And his number is Dutch wants to change.
A 69-year-old TV person has asked the Dutch court to approve his request for a new birthday that will officially make him 49.
Ratelband claims that his legal appeal is consistent with other forms of personal transformation that have become acceptable and a recognition of the government in the Netherlands and around the world.
"With this free home, by choosing a name, by the freedom of the sex, I want to have my age. I want to control myself," he said on Thursday.
Ratelband says he wants to avoid age discrimination in society – especially on dating sites.
"So, when I request a mortgage, they say it's impossible," he told the Associated Press. "If I go to Tinder, then I will get women of 68, 69 when women are there."
Can it be economical with the truth about his age?
"I do not want to lie," he said. "I want to be myself, so you do not force me to lie."
Marjolein van den Brink, a specialist in human rights and gender issues at the Utrecht Law School, says age discrimination is a problem, but differs from gender-related issues.
"It's quite clear that older people have a much lower chance of getting jobs than younger people," she said. "But that's just one element and it just happens when you arrive at 40, 45, 50 years, depending on your business.
"Because it's something that follows you from birth to grave and it determines almost everything – not just in the labor market, but everywhere," she said.
In rare cases, even the race has become more fluid.
In Britain, theater director Anthony Ekundaio Lennon has drawn attention in part because, despite being the son of a white Irish parent, he looked like a man of mixed race. He also wrote to reporters that he thought of himself as black.
He says he was racially abused as a teenager for his performance, and when he began his acting career, he found that it was easier to keep track of non-white parts. He also took an African middle name.
Some black artists complain that Lennon recently received a paid internship program in a program designed to give more black people a chance for career careers in art.
His case in some ways resembles that of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman in the United States who identifies him as black as she was raised by religious parents who had adopted four black children. She worked for NAACP when her secret was discovered in 2015.
Ratelband, a Dutch TV person, says the Dutch government would benefit if he accepted his age requirement. He said he would be happy about the loss of a monthly pension of about 1,200 euros (1370 euros) – a concession estimated to save nearly 300,000 euros (343,000 euros) over the course of 20 years that he wants to shave off his time.
The Arnhem Central Court is expected to bring a judgment in about four weeks.
Ratelband, who earns money from inviting people and businesses to be positive, denies that the request for age is publicity. He claims to seek a personal positive effect.
"Now I am an old man. I have to save my money so that I can give my children a chance to live," said father seven. "But if I have that time again, I hope again. I'm new again. The whole future is there for me again."
Gregory Katz from London contributed.
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