'3:43' Is the Musical Number About the Wage Gap We Never Knew We Needed

Growing Up Gracefully

Show tunes really do seem to be a panacea for just about everything, so it’s a wonder it took so long for someone to write one about the wage gap. Now, thanks to the Australian series Growing Up Gracefully and Hannah and Eliza Riley, the sisters who write and star in the show that tackles functioning as a woman in the modern world, there’s a song about the pay gap in Australia, and while the amounts haven’t been converted to U.S. dollars, it’s safe to say the ratio of inequity is likely on par for here. 

“All us bitches should leave work at 3:43 / ’Cause time is money, and money is time / And since I’m being paid for 84% of mine, then / We’re fucking off and going home / At 3:43!” the sisters sing in the ditty. 

The song’s title, “3:43,” refers to the time of day the average Australian woman should leave work, considering that women’s wages, generally lower than men’s, don’t cover them staying at work any longer than that. As the song digs into its second verse, it rattles off statistics for careers in which the pay gap is even wider, like for women surgeons, who make 43 percent of what men do, which means they should leave work at noon. Or for barristers, who make 72 percent of what their male counterparts make. 

The Riley sisters worked with  a team of researchers to verify the statistics in the song, which reference numbers fromt the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Taxation Office, according to BuzzFeed.

The lack of women of color singing about the wage gap in the video is glaring, as The Mary Sue pointed out, considering the inequity increases for women of color in Australia as well as here in the United States. 

Still, the catchy tune is also chock-full of usable statistics, like the fact that rather than leaving work at 3:43 each day because women aren’t paid the equivalent to men in the same positions, women could just take every Friday off, since that’s the time they’ve earned, or they could just stop working on November 3 each year. 

Perhaps Growing Up Gracefully, which earlier this year investigated stereotypes about women with sexual agency in the musical number “What Is a 'Slut'?,” will reprise “3:43” with even more statistics to reflect the gap the aboriginal women who live in Australia face.

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