In her chapter entitled "Oppression" in the book Feminist Frontiers, Frye discusses the idea of the double bind in gender. This double bind refers to "situations in which options are reduced to a very few and all of them expose one to penalty, censure or deprivation". Frye applies this principle to gender and the dilemma women often face in her discussion of oppression. For example, it is neither socially acceptable for a woman to be sexually active or for her to be sexually inactive and labelled a "man-hater" or "uptight". This absence of choice permeates so thoroughly into women's day-to-day life that even small things like how they choose to dress or talk are criticized. Frye acknowledges that men face issues as well, but differentiates the issues of men and women through the metaphor of a bird cage. As Frye tells it, each individual bind women face can be thought of as a single bar in a cage: by itself, it isn't enough to contain the bird. But, with enough bars, the bird is trapped inside the cage, left with nowhere to go. This is the complete absence of choice Frye describes: how it is the culmination of issues women face that is so "immobilizing" and why, for Frye, their struggle—and not men's—is considered oppression.
Frye was chosen as Phi Beta Kappa's Romanell Professor in Philosophy for 2007-2008. The annually-awarded Romanell Professorship "recognizes the recipient's distinguished achievement and substantial contribution to the public understanding of philosophy." Recipients of this award also offer a series of lectures open to the public; Frye's series was entitled "Kinds of People: Ontology and Politics."
"Categories and Dichotomies", Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories, ed., Loraine Code, NY: Routledge, (2000)
"Essentialism/Ethnocentrism: The Failure of the Ontological Cure", Is Academic Feminism Dead? Theory in Practice, ed., the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota, NYU Press, (2000)
Frye, Marilyn (2005), "Oppression", in Cudd, Ann E.; Andreasen, Robin O. (eds.), Feminist theory: a philosophical anthology, Oxford, UK Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Pub, pp. 84–90, ISBN9781405116619.
Frye, Marilyn (2005), "Categories in distress", in Andrew, Barbara S.; Keller, Jean; Schwartzman, Lisa H. (eds.), Feminist interventions in ethics and politics: feminist ethics and social theory, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, pp. 41–58, ISBN9780742542693.