Ziyad Broker’s Essay Begs The Question – Is age just a number?

March 25 02:36 2021
Ziyad Broker’s Essay Begs The Question - Is age just a number?

To most, age is just a number – a representation of the year and generation in which one has been born. But to others like Emile Ratelband, a former Dutch television personality, age can be so much more.

Emile, now aged 72 years old, had said in the past that he had felt discriminated againstwith regards to employment prospects and on the popular dating app tinder. So, when his doctors told him he had the body of a 40-year-old, he came up with an idea – he was going to attempt to legally change his age such that it matched his biological state.

As per the Insider, he said, “If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work. When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49…I will be in a luxurious position.”

With this idea in mind, he took his case to his local district court in the Dutch city of Arnhem, where it was eventually concluded that his age was not like a change in name or gender, and therefore could not be legally changed.

It was decided that there was no evidence of Ratelband’s age discrimination, rejecting his argument based on free will and ruling that “free will does not extend so far as to make every desired outcome legally possible.”

In a legal sense, this decision is most logical. Our society, whether right or wrong, is built upon age restrictions such as the right to vote, duty to attend school, and driving and drinking ages – all of which would be meaningless should one be allowed to change their legal age. A decision in the opposite direction would have had the potential to turn the judicial system into a state of upheaval, one where the lines on age and changing one’s age would have been a gray area, causing unnecessary confusion.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are Ziyad Broker’s; any facts pertaining to the case have been linked back to the original source. For further information related to this case (2018), please refer to the Dutch judiciary’s website found here

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