Dear music lovers and advocates of empowerment,
4 bands with music that will move you (and maybe even inspire you):
Antony and the Johnson's. This lady is dealing with issues of transgenderism. The pace of her songs, her lyrics, and the emotional honesty in her voice will move you.
The Mountain Goats. The lead singer struggles with issues of abuse at the hands of his father (stepfather?). His lyrics are informed, powerful, and utterly heartwrenching. Some of his songs are intense anthems for empowerment.
Kimya Dawson. Her recent popularity can be attributed to the huge success of the movie Juno. Kimya's music has a deceptively happy sound that closely resembles bluegrass or folk. In her lyrics she discusses issues that relate to social roles and health... Her lyrics are kind of opposite of the lyrics you would hear in traditional folk songs, hence, her music is characterized as 'anti-folk.'
XiuXiu. This guy is avant garde in style, and some people might find his musical style a little different than what they are used to (ie. this is not easy listening). As a hint, if you like NIN, then you will probably enjoy the music of XiuXiu. His lyrics rawly (and graphically) discuss his experiences with homosexuality.