We Heart: P!nk’s New Protest Anthem, ‘Irrelevant’

When the Supreme Court released its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson on June 24, overturning Roe v. Wade, shock waves were felt across the U.S.—including from singer-songwriter P!nk, who took to Twitter to voice her outrage:

Abortion opponents swarmed P!nk’s account with hateful and violent messages, warning her to “shut up and sing.” Challenge accepted. 

On July 13, P!nk tweeted in response, “Woke up. Got heated. Wrote song. Coming Soon.” A day later, her new song, “Irrelevant,” dropped—since deemed a ‘protest anthem.’ Marking her first collaboration with songwriter and producer Ian Fitchuk, the surprise track has been praised by critics.

“As a woman with an opinion and the fearlessness to voice that opinion, it gets very tiring when the only retort is to tell me how irrelevant I am,” the singer explained. “I am relevant because I exist and because I am a human being. No one is irrelevant. And no one can take away my voice.”

The song’s accompanying video, released on July 18, a few days after the song’s initial release, marries footage of protests and activism with clips of P!nk recording the song in the studio.

Directed by P!nk and Brad Comfort, the sobering video connects past and present efforts for justice: Images of the civil rights movement flow directly into depictions of marches for #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, climate justice, LGBTQIA+ rights and reproductive rights. Controversial figures such as Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump and the five Supreme Court Justices who opted to overturn Roe paint the screen in time for lyrics like: “I’ll be your heretic, you f**kin’ hypocrite.”

In an ode to The Who’s “The Kids Are All Right” (1965), the video also calls for an end to gun violence. “The kids are not alright, None of us are right,” sings P!nk. Surrounded by flowers, candles and tears, the video highlights gun control activists, including X González, a survivor of the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Referencing Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (1983), P!nk uses the final bridge to chant, “Girls just wanna have rights, So why do we have to fight?” A montage of protesters hold signs announcing, “My Body My Choice,” “I Demand Separation Between Uterus and State,” “Bans Off Our Bodies,” “I Love Someone Who Had An Abortion” and “Abort the Court.”

“Irrelevant” is also a fundraiser: Proceeds from the new track will be donated to When We All Vote, Michelle Obama’s national, nonpartisan voting initiative. The organization’s mission is “to change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap.”

Abortion access is now banned in at least nine states, with more restrictions on the way. As the U.S. reckons with the loss of abortion rights, polls show gender equality and women’s rights are among the most important issues capturing the interest of young people—and may serve as a catalyst for the midterm elections in November. Already, on Aug. 2, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected an anti-abortion amendment in the primary election, after 59 percent of voters denied the proposed amendment.

“I’m tired but I won’t sleep tonight, ‘Cause I still feel alive,” P!nk sings.

U.S. democracy is at a dangerous inflection point—from the demise of abortion rights, to a lack of pay equity and parental leave, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and attacks on trans health. Left unchecked, these crises will lead to wider gaps in political participation and representation. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Amendment, and centering the stories of those most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we are redoubling our commitment for the next 50 years. In turn, we need your help, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll receive the print magazine along with our e-newsletters, action alerts, and invitations to Ms. Studios events and podcasts. We are grateful for your loyalty and ferocity.

Up next:

About

Michelle Moulton is an editorial intern with Ms. and a senior at Smith College. She is double majoring in the study of women & gender and sociology. Her beats include reproductive justice, domestic worker history, sexual violence intervention, and criminal justice reform and abolition.