Hegemonic feminism—also known as white feminism or second wave feminism—is considered the ‘traditional’ feminism. It focuses on white, urban, and middle or upper class women, mainly from the US and Europe, as the only model of women where others must fit in.
The prototype of women for this wave of feminism is the US housewife who is bored with her domestic life, as described by Betty Friedan in The Feminine Mystique. This is one of the key works of this wave of feminism. Its political and revindicating proposal centres exclusively on the concept of gender, related to the difference between men and women. In this framework, women are defined as an homogeneous group with common interests and a single source of oppression.
It looks to include all women under a shared and imposed identity (European-North American, white, urban, and middle or upper class). Hegemonic feminism, therefore, disregards, ignores, or critiques identities outside of this hegemonic model.
Although this wave of feminism was innovative and had a profound effect on the history of the feminist movement in the West, it was based on mechanisms of exclusion that perpetuate relations of power on the majority of women in the world.