Welcome to Girls on Film -- a Monday-night Cinematical column full of female-centric musing, rants, love and aggravation.

Life isn't black and white. It might be nice and inspirational to talk about hard work bringing great rewards, but the world is not that simple. It's a game of who you know, where you are and when you're there. It's about the art of shmooze just as much as the art of professional performance. It's a world of navigating personal and public politics.

So why don't we remember that when talking about the struggles of women in Hollywood?

Discourse on these issues always dissolves into a discussion of merit, a narrow opinion that the absence of women must show their inability, whether that be to actually pull off the job, or merely having the confidence to make themselves seen. But every so often someone speaks up to remind us of the inner-workings behind the cinematic gender imbalance. This time, it's Catherine Hardwicke, who's revealed that she was blocked from pitching to direct 'The Fighter' because she's a woman.