I play games.
I am a girl.
I have Xbox LIVE and play online frequently with many titles.
I do not use my headset outside of personal parties with people I know.
Because I understand that not everyone who plays on LIVE is on the same maturity level as myself, because I know people on LIVE don't all believe in the same things I believe in, have the same interests, understand the difference between me being a bitch and me joking around. Because I understand that harassment does hurt no matter how much I wish it did not.
Some women go on and goad them menfolk, some girls go on in a feeble attempt to get attention. When they are met with "go back to the kitchen and make me a sandwich!" they are often insulted and offended.
I know these are possibilities, so to the large percentage out there that I have played with, or people who know me and wonder why I don't speak, that is why.
I don't have a problem with it so much, but sometimes it makes gaming a bit difficult. In games like Left 4 Dead when you're playing in that game, communication is a huge key in victory. Communication is used when alerting players of strategy, so being afraid to speak out of fear of starting a fire that cannot be put out is bothersome. I guess the easy way to fix that is to play with all friends! That isn't always as easy as it sounds.
The friends I do play with, I understand their banter. "God that sucked, you should focus on making pies!" But the underlying sexism involved with strangers is much more intimidating, especially since there isn't much that you can do about it. Sure you can report them, but does that do justice to the belittling you just faced? Does that actually decrease the rage and the wanting to find them and punch them in the balls? Not really.
There is no solution to this problem. People are people and they won't change. But don't expect me to turn on my mic anytime soon.